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Andrew L’Esperance fifth at Sea Otter Fuego XC 80

Smith cracks top-10 at Life Time Grand Prix series opener

Andrew L’Esperance opened the first-ever Life Time Grand Prix presented by Mazda event with a very solid result, finishing fifth in Saturday’s Sea Otter Fuego XC 80. His partner and Maxxis Factory Racing teammate, Haley Smith, was sixth in the women’s event.

Keegan Swenson and Mo Wilson leave Monterrey, Cali with the first wins in Life Time’s new six-event series.

Russell Finsterwald and Alex Wild round out the men’s podium in the 80-km cross country race. Tobin Ortenblad finished fourth, just ahead of L’Esperance (Maxxis Factory Racing).

Rob Britton (Easton Overland) finished in 10th, a solid result for the former pro-racer’s first mountain bike race in years. Adam Roberge of Prevost, Que. finishes 16th, Geoff Kabush 19th, Michael van den Ham 27th and Cory Wallace 31st in the Sea Otter Classic Fuego XC. Not all are Life Time Grand Prix athletes, but Sea Otter allows non-series athletes to compete in the same pro category as the 30 selected riders.

INTERVIEW: Rob Britton’s transition from Pro road to mountain bike and gravel racing

Mo Wilson takes the women’s win at Laguna Seca Raceway. She’s followed by Cape Epic winner Sofia Gomez-Villafane and Colorado’s Alexis Skarda.

Haley Smith is the top Canadian, in sixth. Lex Albrecht, another former pro roadie, is 35th on the fast and dusty Sea Otter XC course.

BIKE CHECK: Andrew L’Esperance’s team-issue Ibis Haka MX