Lars Büngen

Inspired by his father, who raced marathons as a hobby, Lars’ interest in biking was born. He rode his first downhill race in 2015 during his summer vacation in Whistler and finished in 10th place – the start of his passion and his motivation to this day.

Lars’ first sportive beginnings were in the disciplines of cross-country and biathlon. Even though Lars won the Swiss Cup twice in biathlon, he had to focus his training on one discipline over time. After a 3rd place at the IXS Rookies World Championships 2017, it was clear to him that mountain biking is his passion. Whether downhill or enduro – today he hunts the trails. Especially longer descents like “Garbanzo” in Whistler are his favorite trails.


Lars riding his bike downhill.


His decision to specialize in mountain biking was quickly rewarded – in races all over Europe, Lars took top placings and became the unofficial U17 Swiss National Champion in 2020 due to the lack of a Swiss passport. In the meantime, the Hamburg native has the chance to officially take the title with the right papers.

Besides the fun of riding, Lars also brings a lot of talent to the table. This combination of fun an talent opens up unprecedented opportunities for him today. He is already allowed to train with the Swiss national team as a guest and thus receives support that is otherwise only available to riders in the “U19/Junior” category and above.

The young bike junkie uses every chance to turn his hobby into a profession. And with success! Today, he is not only coached by Cédric Ravanel, the husband of MTB pro Cécile Ravanel and manager of the COMMENCAL Enduro Team, but also already attended the K&S sports school in Zurich. Thanks to online lessons, it’s also possible to train in winter in the mild climate of the Mediterranean. Starting in August 2021, Lars will attend the OYM College in Cham to be further supported.


Lars during a race


This year, Lars wants to race for podium places again. The 16-year-old is particularly looking forward to the IXS European Downhill Cups. In 2021, he can start again in the U17 category and hopes for a top 5 position. Another highlight: the Crankworx events, which took place in June in Innsbruck. After a broken metacarpal bone in May, he missed the podium by a hair’s breadth of 34 hundredth of a second and finished in 4th place – only 5 weeks after his injury.
But also Enduro races as a team, like the Enduro2 in Davos, with about 15 Enduro stages in 3 days, are special for him.

His goals for 2022 are in any case the EWS qualification and the nomination of the Swiss Federation for the Downhill World Cup and the World Cup as a junior.


Lars by dawn in Italy


All in all, Lars is simply looking forward to being able to ride his bike again this year – whether in races or just for fun with friends. Working on his technique, understanding the mechanics behind biking, is especially fun for him. And no matter which trails Lars is hitting, he always has his TWIST bottles and VACUUM phone mount with him. Even when he was riding his e-bike down the “Little Champery”, one of the toughest trails in Finale Ligure, his cell phone was still sitting on the VACUUM base, he tells us.

We are proud to be able to support the young talent and are excited about the next steps of his young career. Good luck Lars!