After securing a top ten finish in the Lifetime Grand Prix field for the six demanding and wildly diverse events, it’s no surprise that Alexey Vermeulen grabbed the second step in the inaugural off-road series’ overall podium. Watch Lifetime's athlete vignette to hear how Alexey's path as a cyclist led him to gravel and mtb racing, and for a Q&A with the former road pro about his strategy for the season, bike setup, and more! Chapeau Alexey!
What were your goals for the Grand Prix?
Going into the LTGP this year, my overarching goal was to compete and be consistent throughout all six events and see where everything came out at the end...I didn't get nervous until Big Sugar!
What was your strategy for the overall, long Grand Prix season and what did this look like for specific events. Were there specific events that you highlighted as goal races or did you hope to just place consistently high across events?
In terms of training, my coach and I looked at the season and made a plan that we thought fit well for me. I had a lot of non-racing commitments on my plate as well, so we decided to come into Sea Otter 'under cooked' and then build from there while doing specific training for each individual race as they came into view. So for example, most of my endurance training was done after Unbound and from there I immediately started working on higher end intensity and threshold to build towards Crushar and Leadville.
What bike and tire set-up did you use for each event?
Sea Otter: Factor Lando HT with Kenda Booster 2.2's
Unbound: 3T Exploro with Kenda Alluvium 35mm
Crushar: 3T Exploro with Kenda Booster 37mm
Leadville: Factor Lando HT with Kenda Rush 2.4 F/2.2 R
Chequamegon 40: Factor Lando HT with Kenda Rush 2.4
Big Sugar: ENVE with Kenda Alluvium 40mm
What did you think was most challenging about the Grand Prix?
The hardest part is being focused on a very important race every month throughout the year. The difficulty of not only staying fit, but also not getting injured, sick or having bad luck can be taxing. The races in the LTGP have always been incredibly tough individually, when you put them into a series it really pushes people!
What would you do differently if you could change anything in retrospect? Are you doing the Grand Prix in 2023?!
YES! I will do the Grand Prix in 2023...if I get in :) I am honestly very happy with how the year went. There are moments that I wanted a bit more, but also surprised myself a couple times too!
You can check out the breakdown of his individual race finishes here.