Watch Call of a Life Time – a behind the scenes look at a grueling season of US gravel and MTB racing

female riders at life time grand prix race hero image
(Image credit: Life Time Grand Prix)

The Life Time Grand Prix series is simple – invite the best gravel bike and the best mountain bike racers from around the world and bring them together to race at the highest level over a grueling, seven-month-long race season. The Call of a Life Time docuseries gives a unique insight into the intense competition that exists in the United States gravel and mountain bike scene. Each of the six episodes shows the drama, self-doubt, turmoil and accomplishments of the riders as they battle for the series victory.

The series features three gravel and three mountain biking events including established events like The Sea Otter Classic, UNBOUND gravel and Leadville Trail 100 MTB which are some of the toughest stand-alone races in the US gravel and mountain bike calendar.

Close up of Pason McElveen racing life time grand prix

Call of a Life Time features elite male and female riders from across the globe (Image credit: Life Time Grand Prix)

Following a successful inaugural year, the 2023 series will expand to seven races and field sizes will expand to 35 female and 35 male riders, and entry fees will be covered by Life Time. The prize purse is also bigger with $250,000 being allocated equally to the top 10 male and female riders at the final race of the series. 

Reigning champion Haley Smith will be back in 2023, as will six more of the top 10 women from 2022 with new and notable riders on the women’s side include 2021 Unbound Gravel champion Lauren De Crescenzo, Pan American cyclocross champion Raylyn Nuss and five-time French national cyclocross champion Caroline Mani.

For the men, winner Keegan Swenson and every rider in last year’s men’s top 10 are returning with notable newcomers joining the field like South African MTB marathon champion Matt Beers, Brennan Wertz, Eric Brunner and teen sensation Ian Lopez de San Roman.

Across both fields, six nations are being represented, including the US, Canada, Australia, England, France, and South Africa, with an age range of 19-47 years of age.

Female racers at life time grand prix

Most of last year's top 10 riders are returning in 2023 (Image credit: Life Time Grand Prix)

2023 Life Time Grand Prix series dates

  • April 22: Fuego XL 160-mile MTB at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California
  • June 3: 200-mile Garmin Unbound Gravel in Emporia, Kansas
  • July 8: 69-mile Life Time Crusher in Tushar in Beaver, Utah
  • August 12: 104-mile Leadville Trail 100 MTB in Leadville, Colorado
  • September 16: 40-mile Life Time Chequamegon MTB in Cable, Wisconsin
  • September 30: Wildcard 110-mile Life Time The Rad Dirt Fest in Trinidad, Colorado
  • October 21: 100-mile Life Time Big Sugar Gravel in Bentonville, Arkansas (mandatory tie breaker)

the 2023 roster for life time grand prix

The 2023 roster for Life Time Grand Prix (Image credit: Life Time Grand Prix)

In whats sure to be another thrilling second year, the 2023 series kicks off in April at the Sea Otter Classic, you can watch episode one from last year below and the other five on YouTube.

Paul Brett
Staff writer

Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.

Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm