Bentonville/Bella Vista, Ark., (Oct. 5, 2023) – Olympic mountain bike champion, Tom Pidcock, and multi-time national champion, Savilia Blunk, will headline the elite fields at Life Time Little Sugar MTB on Sunday, Oct. 15. The world’s top mountain bike racers, many of whom are contenders in the Life Time Grand Prix presented by Mazda, make up the impressive fields.
Pidcock made the journey to North America to complete the last two races in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series after competing in the Tour de France and winning the UCI XCO World Championships earlier this year. He will be joined at Little Sugar MTB by Ineos Grenadiers teammate, Cameron Wurf. It’s fitting that Pidcock returns to Northwest Arkansas, as he won the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in 2022 when they were hosted in Fayetteville.
Blunk is a multi-time US national champion who focuses on World Cup XCO racing for most of the season, racing to a career-best 4th place finish in the Snowshoe, West Virginia, World Cup recently. In 2022, Blunk won the Life Time Chequamegon MTB Festival presented by Trek and placed 10th at Life Time Big Sugar Gravel presented by Mazda.
The men’s elite field will also feature Leadville Trail 100 MTB record-holder, Keegan Swenson, Cape Epic winner, Matt Beers, marathon MTB national champion, Cole Paton, Big Sugar Gravel winner, Russell Finsterwald, Canadian marathon MTB national champ, Andrew L’Esperance, and former marathon MTB national champion, Payson McElveen.
In the elite women’s field, Blunk will be joined by marathon MTB national champion, Alexis Skarda, Leadville Trail 100 MTB winner, Sofia Gomez Villafane, marathon World Cup winner, Hannah Otto, and Canadian marathon MTB national champion, Haley Smith.
Racers will tackle 100 kilometers (approximately 61.5 miles) with around 7,000 feet of elevation gain as they race through grinding climbs, rolling descents, rough and rocky limestone, and views of caves, waterfalls, and iconic ledges on the trails of Bella Vista. The courses use a point-to-point format, starting at the Homestead in Coler MTB Preserve and finishing in Bentonville Downtown at the Square. Additionally, the event offers a 50k race with approximately 3,700 feet of elevation gain, along with a 20k race with approximately 1,250 feet of elevation gain for athletes who don’t want to bike off more sugar than they can chew.
Life Time and OZ Brands are offering a $65,000 prize purse to be equally split between the top five men and top five women finishers, as follows:
- 1st Place: $12,000
- 2nd Place: $8,500
- 3rd Place: $6,000
- 4th Place: $4,000
- 5th Place: $2,000
The Life Time Little Sugar MTB race will kick 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 Oct. 21. The final off-road cycling event of the year is the Stages Cycling Austin Rattler MTB on Nov. 4.
While the Life Time Little Sugar MTB has sold out, spaces remain available through the Life Time Foundation. For more information, please visit leadvilleraceseries.com/little-sugar-mtb. To view all Life Time athletic events, visit my.lifetime.life/athletic-events.