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The Grind is a weekly column on all things gravel.
The inaugural Life Time Grand Prix presented by Mazda series will be streamed globally on FloBikes, the provider just announced. The six-race series begins Saturday, April 9, at the Sea Otter Classic with the En Fuego XC mountain bike race.
This is the biggest block of gravel race video coverage ever offered, as only Unbound Gravel and SBT GRVL have streamed their races live in the past.
Details of how the events will be filmed and presented were not yet released. Part of the appeal of many of these races for participants is their distance and remote nature, two factors that present challenges for broadcasters.
Unbound Gravel was streamed last year, but almost no race footage was broadcast due to technical complications, so viewers mostly watched two announcers talking.
In addition to its chain of gyms, Life Time owns multiple races, six of which make up this series. Most of the events Life Time bought, such as Sea Otter Classic, Unbound Gravel and Crusher in the Tushar. Others Life Time created, like Big Sugar Gravel and The Rad (the latter of which is not included in the Grand Prix).
The Grand Prix is an invitation-only series, with 30 men and 30 women. All the events that the Grand Prix riders compete in, however, are mass-participant events. The Grand Prix will be scored on points, with the riders’ best five placings counting towards their tally.
“The ultimate goal of the Life Time Grand Prix is to increase fandom of cycling as a sport in the United States,” Life Time president of media and events Kimo Seymour said in a press release. “Making six of our most highly regarded events accessible through an experienced broadcasting partner is key to bringing this vision to life and we’re stoked to provide real-time updates at each Grand Prix event to new and longtime fans alike through FloBikes.”
FloBikes offers coverage of a number of pro races for its $150 annual subscription fee. GCN offers a wide spectrum of races for $50 a year. Fans interested in watching a particular race need to carefully look at the details for each package, as broadcast rights often vary by country, and neither GCN nor FloBikes have comprehensive coverage.
FloBikes coverage for this year also includes the Flanders Classics events, Paris-Roubaix, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, La Course by Le Tour de France, and Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta.
The full Grand Prix Series broadcast schedule is as follows:
- April 9: Sea Otter Classic En Fuego 80K cross-country mountain bike race in Monterey, California
- June 4: Unbound Gravel 200 in Emporia, Kansas
- July 9: 70-mile Crusher in the Tushar in Beaver, Utah
- August 13: Leadville Trail 100 MTB in Leadville, Colorado
- September 17: Chequamegon MTB in Cable, Wisconsin
- October 22: Big Sugar Gravel in Bentonville, Arkansas
FloBikes subscribers can watch races live or on replay on desktop, mobile or TV. Besides the app, FloSports is available on Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast and Apple TV. The first round of the Life Time Grand Prix at Sea Otter will air Sunday, April 9 beginning at 8:40 a.m. MDT.