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Life Time expands Grand Prix for 2023

Second year of North American series includes more racing and more riders

Photo by: Life Time

Life Time Grand Prix has just barely wrapped up its first year but it is already launching an expanded season for 2023. The new North American series, mixing gravel and cross country mountain bike endurance events, is adding a race and a larger roster of riders for the 2023 season.

That’s good news for Haley Smith. The Canadian will now get a chance to try defend her series title from 2022 alongside men’s winner Keegan Swenson.

INTERVIEW: Haley Smith finds consistency (amid chaotic mass starts) on road to Life Time Grand Prix victory

Haley Smith on the Life Time Grand Prix season podium
Haley Smith takes top honours at the ’22 Grand Prix. Photo: Life Time

Life Time tweaks series for ’23

There are a few changes going into the second year of Grand Prix racing. A seventh race will be added, one more than the six-race series this year. The ‘Wild Card’ event is a mystery at this point. Life Time is holding that information back until January 11, 2023. But it’s a fair bet it will be one of the races the event company already owns.

With the addition of another event, riders will also get another “drop race.” Only a racer’s best five results will count forthe final standings, as was the rule this year. That means racers can skip up to two races or do all seven and take their best five results. It also allows more room for injury, which forced several riders out of this year’s series.

New for 2023, Life Time is now oh-so-generously offering to cover the entry fee’s for all seven events for the 70 riders.

Keggan Swenson racing Life time Grand Prix
Keegan Swenson nearly swept the men’s racing in 2022, clearly taking the series title. Photo: Life Time

Life Time is also expanding the field slightly. Next year 35 men and 35 women will compete for the title, up from 30 in each category in 2022. The total prize purse of $250,000 will be divided between the top 10 men and top 10 women, with the winner’s taking home $25,000 each.

Finally, Life Time is upping its anti-doping controls. In 2022, the series only tested at three of the Grand Prix events. It’s promising to test more in 2023, though it is not clear if that means all events or just more events. But Life Time did add that it will test elite riders that are not part of the 70 Grand Prix riders.

Big Sugar Gravel start line
The ’23 Grand Prix season will wrap up at Big Sugar Gravel, just as in ’22. Photo: LIfe Time

2023 Life Time Grand Prix presented by Mazda Event Lineup:

● April 22: Fuego XL (100 km, XC, Sea Otter Classic)
● June 3: Unbound Gravel (200 miles, gravel, Emporia, Kan)
● July 8: Crusher in the Tushar (69 miles, gravel, Beaver, Utah)
● August 12: Leadville 100 (100 miles, XC, Leadville, Colo.)
● September 16: Chequamegon (40 miles, XC, Cable, Wisc.)
● October 21: Big Sugar Gravel (100 miles, gravel, Bentonville, Ark.)
● Wild Card event to be announced January 11, 2022

Prize Purse:

As mentioned, 2023 Life Time Grand Prix will divide a total prize purse of $250,000 between the top ten scoring female and male racers. The breakdown of that payout is as follows:
1. $25,000
2. $20,000
3. $16,000
4. $13,000
5. $11,000
6. $10,000
7. $9,000
8. $8,000
9. $7,000
10. $6,000

Athletes interested in the 2023 Life Time Grand Prix can apply between December 1 and 7, 2022. The 70-rider start list will be announced on Dec. 15, 2022.