Live streaming for the inaugural LifeTime Grand Prix, presented by Mazda at the halfway point in the six-race off-road series, has been abruptly ended. Life Time, which owns and operates the invitation-only series with a year-end prize pool of $250,000, said the decision was made jointly with broadcast partner FloSports.
FloSports was selected as a broadcast partner for the series, which began with a live broadcast of the Sea Otter Classic for the Fuego XC 80k, the opening round. All six events should be streamed on the FloBikes channel for subscribers worldwide, including on-demand content.
“FloSports and Life Time have mutually agreed to cease broadcast production for the Life Time Grand Prix and the remaining events will not be streamed on FloBikes,” Life Time said in a statement this weekend.
“Life Time and FloSports are committed to bringing some of the world’s most exciting gravel and mountain bike races to the world in high quality. It was a bold undertaking, and something that had never been done before. We quickly learned that the environmental challenges faced by athletes on these courses posed an equal challenge for the production team. Ultimately, technical limitations, course conditions and remote locations proved insurmountable. As a result, we can no longer broadcast these races in the quality that fans and athletes deserve.”
Organizers selected 30 women and 30 men from December applications to compete in two disciplines and six events, with prize money split evenly among the top 10 in separate women’s and men’s standings. Along with the allure of big prize money came the promise of international media coverage, a first for most events. Some athletes reported their surprise at the scrapped livestream on social media.
The announcement came just a week before the series’ next stop, the Leadville Trail 100 MTB in Colorado. Some of the top athletes include three-time Leadville Trail 100 MTB champion Rose Grant, Grand Prix women’s leader Sophia Gomez Villafane, Keegan Swenson, 2021 Men’s Champion and Grand Prix men’s leader, and Peter Stetina, fifth overall in the GP and defending Leadville-SBT GRVL Doubleheader champion.
Fuego XC 80K and Unbound Gravel 200 replays are still available for subscribers on the FloBikes website. The third event, Crusher in the Tushar, did not have full-length live coverage “due to technical limitations” and was reduced to on-site interviews and videos during the race with post-race highlights.
Organizers noted that all race updates for each of the final three events would come via social channels, with “Life Time and FloSports remaining open to future collaborations.”
After the Leadville Trail 100 MTB on August 13, the series concludes with the Chequamegon MTB Festival in Wisconsin on September 17 and Big Sugar Gravel in Arkansas on October 22.
We received word today that Flo Sports will not be covering the remainder of the LTGP events in 2022. Media coverage for the next @groadio #stickyfoot selection is ongoing.August 5, 2022