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Life Time and Flanders Classics to Designate First-Ever UNBOUND Gravel Qualifier Event

Life Time and Flanders Classics to Designate First-Ever UNBOUND Gravel Qualifier Event

Heathland Gravel marks inaugural qualifier event in 20-year history of Life Time UNBOUND Gravel; Nods to growth of gravel racing in Europe

Life Time is collaborating with Flanders Classics to designate the first-ever qualifier event in the 20-year history of the iconic Life Time UNBOUND Gravel. Set for Aug. 9-11, 2024, Heathland Gravel takes place in Maasmechelen, Belgium and exemplifies the same standard set by UNBOUND for professional and amateur gravel cycling in the United States and globally. Organized by Flanders Classics, the 2024 edition of Heathland Gravel provides the opportunity for 50 participants to qualify for the 2025 running of UNBOUND Gravel in Emporia, Kansas. Fifty percent of the entries will be awarded based on performance, while the other half will be drawn at random.

Life Time chose Flanders Classics given the organization’s substantial track record in event promotion in Europe, and the relationship aligns with Life Time’s goal to grow international participation at its events, including UNBOUND Gravel.

Heathland Gravel
Heathland Gravel marks inaugural qualifier event in 20-year history of Life Time UNBOUND Gravel; Nods to growth of gravel racing in Europe

“We are honored to be working with renowned Flanders Classics as we expand accessibility to Life Time Unbound Gravel with this first-ever European qualifying event’, said Kimo Seymour, President of Life Time Events. “Tomas and the entire Flanders Gravel team produce incredible cycling experiences, and we are excited to grow the reach and appeal of our UNBOUND Gravel across Europe.” 

“By combining the unmatched reputation and experience of our organizations, we are building a truly unique concept,” says Tomas Van Den Spiegel, Flanders Classics CEO. “UNBOUND Gravel is to gravellers what Kona in Hawaii is for triathletes: a monumental sporting goal and exceptional experience. And it is filling up fast; Heathland Gravel in 2024 is the very first and only qualifier event for UNBOUND Gravel 2025. In Maasmechelen, at least 50 participants will be able to claim their spot for next year. Everyone has a chance. Very exceptional.”

Heathland Gravel takes place in Limburg in the shadow of the Maasmechelen mine shaft – a location that has hosted rounds of the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup the past two years. Organized by Flanders Classics, the Heathland Gravel event and schedule will include social rides, a unique gravel atmosphere, live music and, of course, a fantastic race on the final day through Hoge Kempen National Park.

“We have found in Maasmechelen what a gravel event and course needs,” says Van Den Spiegel. “From the start, we immediately dive into the greenery for which the province of Limburg is so well known. We then head over the slag heaps to the majestic Mechelse Heide – a renowned tourist attraction as we cycle through the Heathland. This also explains the choice of the name Heathland Gravel, because ‘heide’ is Dutch for ‘heathland.’”

Any rider who participates in the longest, 160-kilometre (100-mile) course has the chance to win a spot in Life Time UNBOUND Gravel 2025. A bucket list event for many, entry to UNBOUND Gravel is a daunting task that can only be achieved through performance or an exclusive lottery. Demand for UNBOUND is incredibly high and, as the official qualifier, Heathland Gravel offers a chance for riders to test their luck and secure a coveted entry.

Heathland Gravel also offers plenty for riders seeking an adventure through the unprecedented gravel paths of Limburg. In addition to the 160 km qualifier distance, the event also offers 110 km (68-mile) and 70 km (43-mile) distances. Registration is now open at www.heathlandgravel.com.

Additional information may be found at www.heathlandgravel.com and www.unboundgravel.com.

About Life Time®, Inc.

Life Time (NYSE: LTH) empowers people to live healthy, happy lives through its portfolio of more than 170 athletic country clubs across the United States and Canada. The Company’s healthy way of life communities and ecosystem address all aspects of healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment for people 90 days to 90+ years old. Supported by a team of more than 37,000 dedicated professionals, Life Time is committed to providing the best programs and experiences through its clubs, iconic athletic events and comprehensive digital platform.

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