2011 MTB Gravity Nationals
Logan Binggeli Tops Aaron Gwin As Jill Kintner Earns Her Second Title
Photos: Anthony Smith
Logan Binggeli (KHS Bicycles) bested newly crowned UCI World Cup Series Champion Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) in the 2011 MTB Gravity Nationals by nearly four seconds as they faced muddy conditions in Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Mitch Ropelato, winner of the pro men’s dual slalom a day earlier took the bronze medal.
Jill Kintner (Red Bull/Transistion Racing) took home her second stars-and-stripes jersey over Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Arizona) and Jaime Rees (The Bicycle Hub).
We subjected Logan Binggeli to an interview conducted by Mark Weir in the July issue of Bike, in case you didn’t catch it then, check it out below:
Mark Weir: So I met you for the first time when you schooled all of us at my pump track: Do you know how that affected our egos?
Logan Bingelli: I don’t. You know I was just having a good time, you know. I wish I had more people to ride with here so we could have more competitions like we did at your place.
MW: At the time, you were 16: How old were you when you first got on two wheels?
LB: On a mountain bike or a motorcycle?
MW: Anything on two wheels—whatever came first.
LB: 2001 was the first time I rode two wheels.
I think I was 12.
MW: But you probably rode bicycles from a pretty early age, right?
LB: You know the first bike I recall was the Batmobile bike with training wheels—I remember hucking that a little bit. In the fifth grade I moved down to St. George and that’s pretty much when I really started riding a lot more serious moto. I did that for like five, six years and then I saw that [Red Bull] Rampage in 2003. We found a little spot of land, and I started building all my own little drops—like three to five feet maybe.
MW: When you had that Batbike, did you wear a little cape?
LB: Oh yeah, I was a huge Batman fan, and I’m still into Batman. I like it.
MW: You like to twist throttles: Does this help you ride faster and more aware on the bike?
LB: Probably, yeah, I’d definitely have to give some credit to moto. It definitely gave me a good background, and a good start in mountain biking, for sure.
MW: So when you ride do you wear Lycra? And would you ever just run Lycra with no baggy cover?
LB: Yeah, I actually rode with no baggy cover today on the road bike. All day in the Lycra. I don’t know if it counts on the road bike.
MW: Do you ever think being focused as a pro racer gets in the way of fan interaction?
LB:No, I don’t think so.
MW: Do you ever plan on doing any enduro-DH style racing on trail bikes?
LB: Yeah, definitely, if the KHS team has a roster and we have to go to those events. Other events, it’s up to me to get there. My goal is actually to try and hit Ashland this year for my first…well, actually it would be my second little enduro race. I did a race this past offseason at Bootleg Canyon. It was a 12-hour and 6-hour endurance race, and me and Quinton Spaulding teamed up and did the 6-hour. I’m a huge fan of that enduro stuff. I don’t know about the snow-capped ones that I’ve seen in Europe—those look kind of scary, but I’ve got to work my way up, definitely.
MW: Being a pale-skinned dude, how much and what number sun screen do you need to run, so that you don’t turn into a giant blister?
LB: I put sunscreen on from head to toe when I’m in the sun, definitely. I don’t want any cancer.
MW: Do you watch the Dukes of Hazzard?
LB: I’ve watched the new one, with that blond guy and Ben Stiller.
MW: That’s Starsky and Hutch.
LB: I don’t really watch TV.
MW: Do you have groupies? Are they all from Whistler?
LB: I wish they were all from Whistler, then I would go there more. But no, no groupies.
MW: I’m rebuilding my pump track from the ground up. Would you like to challenge Lopes in a game of horse during opening day? He has the title now, but I think you could be the one to move him down a step.
LB: I would love to challenge Lopes at your pump track. I don’t know if I’d be any competition to him, but would try my best.
MW: If you could pick new team colors for KHS, what would they be?
LB: Hmm. Red and black, with a little splash of yellow.
MW: Are you wearing a flat-bill or curved-bill hat?
LB: Right now I’m not wearing a hat, but I wear curved-bill hats if I have a choice.
MW: Is there a sticker on the bill?
LB: Yes, definitely. Baller status.