Meet the cast of the 2023 Life Time Grand Prix

70 handpicked riders from six countries will vie for the $250,000 prize purse

Scenes from the 2022 Big Sugar Race
(Image credit: Life Time)

Following a successful inaugural year, the Life Time Grand Prix presented by Mazda adventure race series will return in 2023 with 70 riders vying for a $250,000 prize purse. 

Introduced in 2022, the Life Time Grand Prix is a season-long gravel and XC mountain bike race series in which a cast of handpicked competitors travel throughout the United States in pursuit of a $250,000 prize purse.

Starting at Sea Otter Classic's Fuego XL race in April, the series will consist of seven races between April and October, including theUnbound 200-mile gravel race and high altitude Leadville 100-mile XC mountain bike challenge. 

The series is expanding from six to seven events in 2023, the seventh evetnt being a ‘Wild Card’ event that is yet to be announced.

The series’ goal is to increase cycling fandom in the United States, and showcase some of the best and unique off-road events throughout the country. With the extreme distances, challenging terrain, high altitudes, and a variety of racing disciplines to master, those who’ll emerge as the winners will have to be very well-rounded cyclists indeed. 

This year's series was won by three-time national mountain bike champion turned endurance cyclist, Keegan Swenson, and Canadian Olympian, Haley Smith. Each athlete took home $25,000. 

Life Time today announced the cast of 2023, which includes the 2022 winners as well as some band new faces.

The contestants

After wading through more than 200 applications, event organizers selected 35 men and 35 women to compete in the race series.

The coming season's cast includes former WorldTour roadies, gravel pros, mountain bike olympians, cyclocross champions and pro triathletes. 

As mentioned, 2022 winners Keegan Swenson and Haley Smith will return to defend their crown but they'll be met with some new challengers. 

On the men's side cyclocross pro Eric Brunner is joining the challenge alongside former rower Brennan Wertz and South African mountain biker Matt Beers.

On the women's side, the new challengers include cyclocrossers Raylyn Nuss, the reigning Pan American Cyclocross Champion, and multi-time French national champion Caroline Mani as well as former Unbound and Tour of the Gila winner Lauren De Crescenzo

Returning contestants include Unbound winner Sofia Gomez Villafañe, recent WordTour abandonee Emily Newsom, Ruth Winder, Sarah Strum, former WorldTour roadies Peter Stetina, Alexey Vermeulen, Alex Howes, Kiel Reijnen and Lachlan Morton

Expanding its international appeal, six nations will be represented in the series —the U.S., Canada, Australia, England, France and South Africa— with the Netherlands and Dutchman Laurens ten Dam notably missing from the line-up.

In the men's category:

Matthew Beers

John Borstelmann

Robert Britton

Eric Brunner

Zach Calton

Griffin Easter

Russell Finsterwald

Howard Grotts

Lance Haidet

Alex Howes

Dylan Johnson

Brendan Johnston

Andrew L’Esperance

Bradyn Lange

Taylor Lideen

Konny Looser

Payson McElveen

Lachlan Morton

Tasman Nankervis

Logan Owen

Cole Paton

Kiel Reijnen

Adam Roberge

Nathan Spratt

Peter Stetina

Keegan Swenson

Kyle Trudeau

Alexey Vermeulen

Kerry Werner

Brennan Wertz

Tobin Ortenblad

Innokenty Zavyalov

Ryan Standish

Jack Odron

Ian Lopez De San Roman

In the women's category:

Crystal Anthony

Ella Bloor

Chelsea Bolton

Ellen Campbell

Catherine Colyn

Lauren De Crescenzo

Rebecca Fahringer

Maude Farrell

Sofia Gomez Villafane

Emma Grant

Isabella Hyser

Heather Jackson

Isabel King

Caroline Mani

Holly Mathews

Sarah Max

Deanna Mayle

Julie Momber

Jessica Mullins

Angela Naeth

Emily Newsom

Raylyn Nuss

Paige Onweller

Hannah Otto

Jenna Rinehart

Hannah Shell

Danielle Shrosbree

Alexis Skarda

Haley Smith

Sarah Sturm

Starla Teddergreen

Caroline Tory

Leah Van der Linden

Ruth Winder

Anna Yamauchi

The Races

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Anne-Marije Rook
North American Editor

Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.

Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist.