An elite among us; pro mountain biker Logan Binggeli prepares for nationals; STGnews Videocast

ST. GEORGE — St. George resident Logan Binggeli rises before the dawn; he’s got to get his ride done before the summer heat settles in for the day. It’s racing season in the mountain biking world, and Binggeli is a professional.

Professional mountain bike racer Logan Binggeli descends a trail in St. George, Utah, July 10, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
Professional mountain bike racer Logan Binggeli descends a trail in St. George, Utah, July 10, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

The three-time national champion is preparing to head to Mammoth Mountain, California, for the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championship held Wednesday through Sunday, where hundreds of the nation’s best mountain bikers will gather to race for titles in several disciplines including cross-country, enduro, dual slalom and, Binggeli’s specialty, downhill.

“I race primarily all gravity sports,” Binggeli said, “but number one is downhill.”

Binggeli’s love affair with all things two-wheeled started, he said, at the tender age of 9 when he began an amateur racing career in motocross. After seven years of racing motorized bikes, he felt burned out, Binggeli said, so he picked up a mountain bike to fill the void.

With year-round access to trails in Southern Utah and an already strong riding skill set garnered from motocross, Binggeli quickly ascended to the top of the amateur mountain bike racing scene.

In his senior year of high school, Binggeli was approached by KHS Bicycles, who offered him a financial contract, and his professional mountain biking career was born.

An X-Ray image of Logan Binggeli's femur bone which was broken in a crash during the 2013 Red Bull Rampage, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Logan Binggeli, St. George News
An X-ray image of Logan Binggeli’s femur, which was broken in a crash during the 2013 Red Bull Rampage | Photo courtesy of Logan Binggeli, St. George News

“(It) was pretty mind blowing at the time, being 17 or 18 years old and still in high school and getting a contract,” Binggeli said, “so things got pretty serious then.”

Since that time, Binggeli has just been getting better, racking up impressive podium finishes, including taking third at Red Bull Rampage — the energy drink juggernaut’s freeride mountain bike competition held in Virgin — in 2012.

But despite his accolades, Binggeli is no stranger to defeat. At Rampage 2013, just one year after his podium finish, Binggeli went down attempting to land a backflip during one of his runs and broke his femur.

“After I got third place, I struggled a little bit. I ended up, you know, in 2013. I had a huge crash there and broke my femur and that really sucked,” Binggeli said, “but, I learned a lot from that, and I am stronger than I ever have been.”

Binggeli said that he has had to push himself harder than he ever has to get back to where he was but said he believes everything happens for a reason and is excited about this racing and competitive season, which includes a return to the Red Bull Rampage in October.

Professional mountain bike racer Logan Binggeli descends a trail in St. George, Utah, July 10, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
Professional mountain bike racer Logan Binggeli descends a trail in St. George, Utah, July 10, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

In addition to lots of time in the saddle of his downhill mountain bike, Binggeli has an eclectic training regimen that includes swimming, stand up jet skiing, motocross riding, cross-country biking and hitting the gym.

Binggeli trains at Official Strength and Athletics in St. George where he and gym owner/trainer, Cade Cowdin, hone in on his specific needs as a racer in order to take his body to the next level.

“With Logan, he is not just a pro, he is a top pro,” Cowdin said. “We have to figure out what is going to make him better, all the way down to the lactic acid in his legs so they don’t burn out as fast.”

Cowdin said Binggeli’s workouts consist of a lot of leg work that concentrate on three key components; flexibility, balance and explosion, all of which are designed to help his legs outlast his opponents.

“It’s definitely the hardest thing I do two times a week,” Binggeli said.

While it may be hard, Cowdin was quick to praise Binggeli’s work ethic both physically and mentally.

“Training Logan is special,” Cowdin said. “He always gives me 110 percent. I know if he can handle the workouts I am giving him, it will translate onto the track.”

It is that mental toughness and fortitude as an athlete that will help Binggeli as he heads to California to compete at nationals where the best of the best will race the clock in hopes of pulling off the win.

Follow Binggeli on Instagram to see updates of the self-proclaimed “professional dream liver” as he rides, flips and races around the world.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

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