The inaugural Lifetime Grand Prix wrapped up in spectacular fashion at the 100-mile Big Sugar Gravel race in Bentonville, Arkansas. Shimano athletes put an exclamation point on the final race of the series with a Big Sugar win, an overall series win, and multiple podiums to round out the season. The LTGP consisted of six premiere gravel and mountain bike events across the US, bringing together a high-caliber roster of road, gravel, and MTB athletes to compete for $250,000 in equally distributed prize money.

Shimano GRX Lifetime Grand prix

Haley Smith of the Maxxis Factory Racing team held onto her overall series lead with a strong 7th-place finish at Big Sugar Gravel. While scoring consistent results throughout the year, Smith proved she's just as capable on fast and technical cross-country trails as on the open roads of ultra-endurance gravel events.

Shimano GRX Haley Smith Maxxis Factory Racing

Russel Finsterwald put in his best effort of the season at Big Sugar, soloing away from the strong leading group to take the win in Arkansas. His fantastic finish to the season, combined with his second place at Sea Otter’s XC mountain bike race, earned him a third place overall in the 2022 LTGP.

Lifetime grand prix Shimano GRX

Sofia Gomez-Villafañe capped off a stellar LTGP campaign, finishing fifth in Arkansas, which, combined with a win at Unbound Gravel and a second at Sea Otter, meant she finished second overall and earned herself a cool $20,000 for her efforts.

Shimano GRX athlete Sofia Gomez-Villafane

Former WorldTour prodigy turned mountain bike pro Alexey Vermuelen proved one of the most consistent performers of the year with three podium finishes and a top five to wrap up the year in second overall. His third-place finishes at Unbound and the Leadville 200 plus a second at Chequamegon proved he’s got the combination of long-distance endurance, snappy MTB accelerations, and a cool head that it took to excel across the diverse series and land a sweet $20,000 payout.

Shimano GRX racing unbound Gravel

Other stellar series finishes included one-time Tour de France domestique Peter Stetina (5th overall) and former pro road journeyman Rob Britton (7th overall).

After a gritty first year of testing athletes’ offroad chops - from the muck of Kansas to the alpine passes of Leadville to the coastal California singletrack of Sea Otter and everything in between- these riders all earned themselves a winter of rest, relaxation, and motivation. Congrats to all athletes who took on this challenging year of racing. Shimano is looking forward to supporting and following the series again and seeing what the LTGP has in store for next year!