Gravel

Geneviève Jeanson and Tinker Juarez headline new Floyd’s of Leadville Racing team

Five riders plus Floyd Landis and Dave Zabriskie will compete in gravel and cross-country races in 2022.

Get access to everything we publish when you join VeloNews or Outside+.

After a two-year hiatus from team sponsorship, Floyd Landis is sponsoring a gravel/MTB team — with a twist.

The roster for Floyd’s of Leadville Racing includes five dizzyingly diverse riders: 60-year-old David “Tinker” Juarez, Canadian Geneviève Jeanson, 2021 Unbound XL champion Taylor Lideen, Colorado road racer Anne Donley, and Team USA U23 mountain bike racer Victor Cashes.

Ultra endurance rider Lideen was selected to compete in the inaugural Life Time Grand Prix series.

Floyd’s of Leadville is the CBD company Landis co-founded with his friend and former teammate Dave Zabriskie. Landis and Zabriskie will also race a few events with the team.

Read also:

Why Floyd Landis started a cycling team in 2018
Floyd’s Pro Cycling to shutter at the end of 2019

The team manager is Will Geoghegan, who has known Landis since both were junior racers in the early 90s and who served as his manager during his 2006 Tour de France win and part of his subsequent trial and conviction for doping.

Geoghegan said the riders on the team were selected for their results, and their stories and life experiences away from racing. Each rider has a unique story that the team will highlight throughout the season, he said.

“We’re going to find out how inclusive gravel really is,” Geoghegan told VeloNews.  

According to Geoghegan, the team will follow an aggressive schedule of gravel and mountain bike races across North America. Lideen was selected for the Life Time Grand Prix series, and other team riders will compete in the Belgian Waffle Rides Quadruple Crown events and the Southeast Gravel Series, in addition to iconic mountain bike events such as 24 hours in the Old Pueblo and the Borah Epic MTB and Gravel.

Tinker Juarez, Genèvieve Jeanson, and Floyd Landis

The two most notable names on the team roster are Juarez and Jeanson.

Juarez is a mountain bike legend. After getting his start in BMX, Juarez moved to mountain biking in the 80s. Earlier this year, after 27 years of racing for Cannondale, Juarez parted ways with the brand. But the two-time Olympian, World Cup winner, and Mountain Bike Hall of Famer was not ready to stop racing.

“He’s one of Floyd’s and my heroes,” Geoghegan said. “We never beat him when we were racing in World Cups or NORBA nationals. So when he got chopped by Cannondale, we felt really bad and Floyd knew he could help him. We decided to bring him on as a racer and give him health insurance, which he never had before.”

Jeanson will return to bike racing after a 15-year hiatus. (Photo: Courtesy FLR)

Jeanson, 40, has been largely absent from the professional cycling world after she tested positive for EPO in 2005 and received a 10-year ban. Later, she would admit to using the banned substance for most of her career beginning at age 16, citing the drug use as one of the many abuses she suffered from her coach André Aubut.

Today, Jeanson lives in Quebec, where she is the head coach at her husband Paul Hillier’s Orange Theory fitness studio in Vaudreuil.

Aside from less than half a dozen local races, 2022 will be Jeanson’s first time back on a start line since she disappeared from the sport in the early aughts.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” she told VeloNews. “I’m looking forward to being myself at the races. With my former coach, I couldn’t speak to anyone and I couldn’t have any friends. I couldn’t be too happy at the start and all kinds of weird stuff. I’m looking forward to being myself. That’s kinda sad but nice at the same time. I’ve never been so excited about a season.”

Landis dipped a toe into gravel racing in 2021 at Big Sugar Gravel and BWR Kansas, and said that he is looking forward to connecting with more cyclists via the team.

“After taking a couple years away from racing, we felt the timing was right to get back into it,” Landis said. “Bicycle racing is where our core customers spend their energy and attention and we felt that being at the races would be an important step to further grow our brand. Our aim with the program is to create a family feeling, and develop a racing culture that emphasizes the experiences and stories we will share together, more than racing results. We are looking forward to connecting with all cyclists out there.”