Amateurs at Lifetime Grand Prix?

Are there any participants in the Lifetime Grand Prix - the 60 m/f riders - that are completely amateur (not paid or sponsored by any company)? I’m curious if it’s been possible for anyone to be competitive without financial or material support.

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Bella Hyser is a U23 racer, the youngest in the women’s field, and has a GoFundMe to help cover expenses.


I’m going to venture a confident guess of “No”… For sure there is a portion of them that have jobs outside of riding their bike, but I’d be willing to bet that of those, most probably work within the industry. Lifetime has a pretty intense application process for the Grand Prix, with a large focus on your marketability and your reach(in that they ask specifics about your social media following). With that, anyone who would be “worthy” of competing in the series will have some sort of sponsorship help. Again, I’d be willing to bet that less than half of the participants are getting a paycheck from their sponsor, but are certainly getting material support and perhaps some reimbursement for race fees and transport. I have zero doubt that there are fully self supported amateurs that could hack it in the front pack of these races, while fully self-funding the season, but it only takes one or two of those results before you have some tire/carb/sunglass company offering you something for free. And then you’re no longer un-sponsored…


I know a 40-50 woman who is an amateur. She probably had a bike/nutrtion sponsor. She has a full time job and a couple side gigs are barely raced when she was younger. She is far from a pro.

It is doable.

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I don’t doubt it, but unfortunately this combination doesn’t net you a result in even the top 15 in the series… Also, the OP asked about completely unsupported riders, which having a bike sponsor kind of contradicts. Furthermore, if we’re honest, most of the field are “amateurs”… The definition of Pro/Professional is; " one engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime". And as I discussed a bit above, I can assure you that most of these people have an outside source for a majority of their income. This could even be argued for the very front of the fields, as the lines have become a bit blurry with the whole “influencer” type role that is so intertwined with these “privateer” type racers.

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interesting… Maybe its the algorithm at play here, but I see very little in my feeds from the top mens or womens riders? No shortage of the “social media pros” all over my feeds though

Yes. Just yesterday I was listening to Payson McElveen’s podcast where they mentioned a lady (sorry, I don’t remember the name) who were in LTGP in 2023, but she works 9-5 as an engineer at SRAM.

How many “Pros” in cycling don’t have a job outside of racing?

If we defined “pro” in the cycling world of those who only ride bikes, you’d be surprised few pros there are.

And yes, being a coach is still a job.


From the road point of view, pros are only those at World Tour and Pro Conti levels (plus a tiny number of riders paid full time by their nation and maybe a handful who are properly paid full time at Conti level).

So they’re being paid c.€35,000 a year or more by their team/nation. If they make a few extra € by doing something else, like hosting an event or appearing on a podcast etc, then that doesn’t stop them being a pro.

For gravel, I guess it’d be a much murkier world, because who’s the employer? If you’re not being paid something similar (after racing/travel costs) then I’d question the “pro” moniker even though it seems to get given to a lot of people