Sweet Protection | Ryan Petry and Alexey Vermeulen

Athlete: Ryan Petry and Alexey Vermeulen

Ryan Petry and Alexey Vermeulen
Project: Leadville 100 MTB Race

If you don't know about Leadville 100 MTB, it is one of the most difficult races in the US (maybe world) as it is 100 miles of mountain biking from the town of Leadville, Colorado, USA (elevation 10,150 ft./3094m) and does a very hard route that climbs up another 3,000 ft./910m. The racers will do this climb multiple times in the race, topping out just over 13,000ft./3963m.

Needless to say, this is a hard race. Very, very hard. The air is extremely thin, and the terrain is brutal.

Ryan and Alexey will not only be competing in the pro category, but they have taken on 3 beginner bicycle riders to train from February and all the way to a point where they will compete in the Leadville 100 MTB race on August 14, 2021.

Alexey and Ryan explain: Once they had their idea, they began building a foundation of brands that could support the overall mission. The most important things were having companies that share brand values with them and truly want to make a positive impact on people's lives and the industry as a whole. We quickly knew we had to be part of this.

Ryan Petry and Alexey Vermeulen | sweet protection Ryan Petry and Alexey Vermeulen | sweet protection

“My favorite part about Sweet Protection helmets is how well they fit and moreover, the fact that unlike most companies they cover so much adjustment that I think everyone will love them.”

But why would two ex pro racers start a project like this?

“Alexey and I decided to start this project because we both felt both an urge to give back to the world that we were not fulfilling to our fullest as professional cyclists, but we also saw so many new riders as a result of Covid and saw a massive opportunity to inspire and motivate this relatively unspoken to audience. As professional cyclists we both know the industry from the top, and with that perspective we understand why it can seem so intimidating, but also have the knowledge and credibility to pave the way for this new wave of people entering this awesome sport.“

Ryan Petry and Alexey Vermeulen | sweet protection Ryan Petry and Alexey Vermeulen | sweet protection

“The glasses that we will all be using are stylish, light and super easy to exchange lenses. Cycling doesn’t have to be any more challenging than the trail you ride on, and Sweet Protection reminds us of that each time we kit up!”

Why Leadville versus any other race?

“We chose the Leadville Trail 100 for a number of reasons, but most importantly being that it was later in the year which will give the contestants more time to prepare for the event. Taking on something as big as Leadville is difficult in 6 months, let alone 3 months. Leadville is also unique in that for the most part it is an out and back course, giving you constant motivation from other racers to keep pushing on, and if you miss them you will hear Ken yelling. Unbound Gravel was on the table, but after chatting with different people and companies we decided on Leadville for 2021.”

We’re stoked to follow them along this journey, and to see our helmets and eyewear being used in, if the most, one of the hardest MTB races in the world.

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Alexey Vermeulen & Ryan Petry

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