Alexey Vermeulen x Factor

Getting ahead in the mental space

“Bike racing is hard! But I think I can win Unbound. Easy to say now when I’ve finished in 25th at Sea Otter. But put everything together and refocus and do it. That’s the beauty of the {Life Time} series.”

“My biggest asset is my viewpoint. I can pull myself out of a situation and look down on it.”

Into his second year riding the Factor LANDO HT, Alexey Vermeulen is looking to use all his assets to improve on his already successful 2022 season. Having taken 2nd place in the Lifetime Grand Prix in addition to top-5 placings at races like Unbound and Leadville, as well as winning BWR San Diego and Iceman, Vermeulen is full of ambition.

For 2023, his goals have just gotten bigger: “I want to win specific races in the Grand Prix,” Alexey said. “For 2022, I think I was well equipped for the GP, but after finishing second in 2022, for this year, my mindset has just really changed. I want to dominate an event. The overall for me is like, okay, I’d like to win it. But going in, I am just going to be aiming for these specific races and then from there see where I’m sitting when we come into August and September.”

As a former WorldTour rider, Alexey knows what it’s like to have to keep his form high for a full season. Theoretically, that should have given him a bit of an advantage over many of his competitors in the Life Time Grand Prix in 2022. “Going into it I do think I was the best equipped to deal with it being such a long season,” Vermeulen admitted.

“At Sea Otter in 2022, I was saying this is a game of consistency. I did not expect Keegan to be as dominant as he was. That changed a lot of things. Keegan is a friend, and he made every race his race. He didn’t look at it as consistency, he looked at it as domination, which is a totally different thing. I didn’t have that mindset. I was like, cool I’m 5th, cool I’m 4th. I was very much thinking that this will pay off. But if you get to the point where he has won four races, it doesn’t pay off anymore.”

Lovin’ the LANDO

“I love the LANDO. Coming from the road, I’ve always struggled with full suspension. So whenever I can race a hardtail I do, so I don’t feel like I’m losing anything,even just on the mental side of it,” Alexey said. “It’s been my go-to bike. I was in Australia for a month in December, and that’s the only bike I took. I ride the LANDO All. The. Time.”

As a former pro on the road, Alexey had a bit of a learning curve to get his skills to where they needed to be for him to be successful at professional mountain bike races. It was a fairly easy leap to transition to Off-Road racing, but mountain biking at the highest level would be more challenging.

“It was very hard. I had grown up mountain biking in the off season. But in Michigan it’s very different mountain biking. There are no rocks, it’s not steep. I always say the only time I feel on par with those guys who grew up mountain biking is when there are wet roots because that’s what I grew up riding,” Alexey admitted. “Coming from the road it was a mental block in how chaotic it can be.”

Multi-disciplined, multi-talented

Getting into the mountain bike flow riding his LANDO HT, Alexey found success on fat tires very quickly. “Two races that pop out as my best memories last year are for totally different reasons. The first one is Leadville. I had put so much into that effort. So much goes into and so much is luck. It’s at high altitude anything can happen. I almost feel that’s what the LANDO was made for. I mean, how light can you get this bike and still be able to handle everything,” Alexey explained.

“But then I was also able to transition and have that Willie LANDO made up and take it to Iceman. It had this incredible reaction there. Everyone was enamored by it. We had it built up for the expo and I had Willie there and everyone would come find me to get Willie to take a picture with him and the bike.”

Having found his footing on the LANDO, reinforced with his 4th place at Leadville and 1st at Iceman in 2022, there’s no reason to aim low for his 2023 goals. “To win specific races in the Grand Prix. I want to win Unbound. Three weeks later is Time Trial nationals. And then Leadville. First one’s on an ENVE, second on the HANZŌ, and then the LANDO,” he explained. “It’s so hard, but I think I can win Leadville. Last year I made a couple mistakes, and I finished 4th. Things open very quickly at high altitude. I have a lot on-the-ground support here in Colorado. So I can have this fun altitude camp. Those are my major goals, but you can always sprinkle in things or change plans.”

With Alexey aiming for success in a variety of disciplines, from time trials to extreme mountain bike races, 2023 looks like it will offer a lot of space for collaboration between Factor, Alexey, and of course Sir Willie the Wiener.


Whether you want to rip along flowy trails, destroy your rivals between the tape, or feel the joy of a lightweight hardtail mountain bike, the Factor LANDO HT can set all your rides alight. Made from high quality materials and a carbon fiber layup utilizing different carbon types to optimize efficiency requirements, the LANDO HT offers exceptional stiffness-to-weight in a minimalist package. It is the hardtail mountain bike of choice for discerning XC riders looking to maximize their speed and race times.