Haley Batten crosses the finishline.

Batten and Swenson Win Inaugural Life Time Little Sugar Mountain Bike Race

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Bentonville/Bella Vista, Ark., (Oct. 15, 2023) – Northwest Arkansas saw a stacked field of the world’s top mountain bike racers at the Life Time Little Sugar MTB, in which Haley Batten of Santa Cruz, Calif. and Keegan Swenson of Heber City, Utah took first in the elite 100K races. Life Time and OZ Brands awarded a $65,000 prize purse equally split between the top five women and top five men finishers, the largest single-day prize purse in US mountain biking. The inaugural race had more than 1,000 participants, with riders aged 12 to 70 years old from 46 states and eight countries.

Women's Podium - Haley Batten.
Women’s Podium – Haley Batten.

Racers had three course distances to choose from, including a 100K with 7,000 feet of elevation gain, a 50K course with 3,700 feet of elevation gain, and a 20K course with 1,250 feet of elevation gain. Riders traversed through grinding climbs, rolling descents, and rough and rocky limestone, with views of caves, waterfalls, and iconic ledges on the trails of Bella Vista and Bentonville. The courses featured a point-to-point format, starting at the Homestead in Coler MTB Preserve with a finish in Bentonville Downtown at the Square.

Technical climbing on the Little Sugar course.
Technical climbing on the Little Sugar course.

After 40 miles of solo riding, Batten was victorious for the elite women, finishing eleven minutes ahead of her closest competitor. When asked about the course, Haley commented, “It’s fantastic, it keeps you on your toes for sure. I had a blast riding the trails all week and checking out the course. It’s hard racing, it’s pretty relentless. I thought [going into the race] there’s not much climbing, it’s pretty rolling, but when you’re out there it’s relentless.”

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The elite men’s race was closer throughout the day. After almost four and a half hours, the race came down to a sprint finish, with Swenson taking the win over South African Matt Beers, and Cole Paton just nineteen seconds back, finishing third. Olympic Gold medalist and pre-race favorite, Tom Pidcock, suffered a flat tire and rolled in for a 25th-place finish.

Men's Podium - Keegan Swenson.
Men’s Podium – Keegan Swenson.

“A huge thank you to Bentonville and Bella Vista for hosting us on these world-class mountain bike trails for the inaugural Life Time Little Sugar MTB!,” said race director Ben Sachs. “The Northwest Arkansas community showed up in full force today to deliver an exceptional experience, including our incredible volunteers, emergency services teams, and the Trailblazers, who aided in our course setup. We are thrilled with year one of the event and are looking forward to continuing this momentum into next week at the Life Time Big Sugar Classic presented by Mazda.”

Women’s 100K Race Results

Name City Age Time
Haley Batten Santa Cruz, Calif. 25 4:53:22
Savilia Blunk Inverness, Calif. 24 5:04:34
Sofia Gomez Villafane Heber City, Utah 29 5:09:28
Katerina Nash Truckee, Calif. 45 5:17:45
Crystal Anthony Bentonville, Ark. 42 5:19:33

 Men’s 100K Race Results

Name City Age Time
Keegan Swenson Heber City, Utah 29 4:25:16
Matthew Beers Cape Town, RSA 29 4:25:16
Cole Paton Cashmere, Wash. 25 4:25:35
Bradyn Lange La Center, Wash. 24 4:30:10
Sean Fincham Squamish, Canada 25 4:30:35

Women’s 50K Race Results

Name City Age Time
Landrie Mclain Bella Vista, Ark. 15 2:53:31
Harper Moore Bentonville, Ark. 16 2:59:20
Emily Flynn Elk River, Minn. 42 3:11:38
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Men’s 50K Race Results

Name City Age Time
Will Stoffel Bentonville, Ark. 41 2:29:18
Preston Ronck Rogers, Ark. 14 2:30:32
Brian Gordon Soquel, Calif. 33 2:33:41

Women’s 20K Race Results

Name City Age Time
Bella Fish Bentonville, Ark. 13 1:05:32
Elise Edman Chesterfield, Mo. 37 1:07:26
Jessica Rosado San Antonio, Fla. 46 1:07:47

 Men’s 20K Race Results

Name City Age Time
Aaron Anderson Springdale, Ark. 16 53:22
Cody Lang Bentonville, Ark. 15 54:15
Gwilym Stevens Bentonville, Ark. 13 54:15

To view full Life Time Little Sugar MTB  race results, please visit Athlinks. To see how the race unfolded check out the Big Sugar Classic Instagram channel.

Syllamo Events Calendar

Life Time Little Sugar MTB kicked off the Life Time Big Sugar Classic week, which will culminate with the Life Time Big Sugar Gravel presented by Mazda in Bentonville, Ark. on October 21. Check out the full festival week schedule here. The final off-road cycling event of the year is the Stages Cycling Austin Rattler MTB on Nov. 4.

For more information, please visit leadvilleraceseries.com/little-sugar-mtb. To view all Life Time athletic events, visit my.lifetime.life/athletic-events.

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