Memories to cherish as Laurens ten Dam calls time on Life Time Grand Prix adventure

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Laurens ten Dam battled back from a series of mechanicals to finish 13th in the elite men’s race at Big Sugar Gravel on Saturday, with the veteran later announcing that he would not return for the Life Time Grand Prix should it take place in 2023.

The Dutch rider has been a pioneer for European athletes venturing to the US in order to take on the growing sport of gravel racing, and has enjoyed some monumental success since hanging up his road wheels. Still competitive, and fourth at Unbound earlier this year, ten Dam has by his own admission struggled with some aspects of the mountain bike racing that has formed part of the Life Time series.

“The one race that suits me the best is Unbound and I got fourth and second from the Life Time riders. The level is going up and up and today was like a real gravel race,” ten Dam told VeloNews said after his finish in Arkansas.

“For me though, I’m sure that I’m not a mountain biker and at 41 I’ve tried to become one, but guys like Keegan Swenson and Russel Finsterwald are used to riding mountain bikes since they were kids. So for me, it’s better to stick to gravel. So I won’t do the Life Time Series next year.”

Also read: Big Sugar Gravel: Russell Finsterwald takes solo win in men’s race

Ten Dam moves on with no level of unhappiness or resentment. As he’s interviewed outside his family’s RV his kids are playing baseball and waiting in anticipation for the Big Sugar afterparty. During this season alone ten Dam has made a series of Transatlantic adventures, and all but one has been shared with family or

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