It was a hot, dusty day at Laguna Seca for the first race in the 2023 Life Time Grand Prix Series. With three Jukebox racers in the series again for this year—Alexey Vermeulen, who finished second overall last year, Dyaln Johnson and Adam Roberge, it's going to be an exciting few months with seven races in the series this year.
Fuego XL is always an interesting first race: At 65 miles long, the mountain bike race is somewhere between the technical style you'd see in an XCO MTB race but with the speed and climbs you'd see on a gravel course. Riders are on mountain bikes, but make no mistake, the pace is blazingly fast.
Our guys had a tough day out in the heat: Adam came in 24th, Alexey 27th and Dylan 30th. Each had their own stories to tell about the race (check out our Instagram for post-race interviews with each of them!), but all are excited to get this race done and to focus on the next major event in the season, Unbound.
At 200 miles, Unbound is the longest race in the series, and it's also one of the biggest. Alexey finished fourth there last year, so it will be interesting to see if he can improve on that position. As a former WorldTour rider, he's no stranger to long days in the saddle. Adam comes from a similar road background, so he could also have a good day. And when it comes to dialing in marginal gains, Dylan is second to none—plus, his background as an endurance MTB racer is key if the weather takes a turn for the worse and the terrain becomes sketchier.
More good news? Call of a Life TIme, the docu series about the races, is back in 2023—check out the interview with the director, with some insider info from Alexey!