Freeride star and slopestyle champion: The 34-year-old American mountain bike legend Paul Basagoitia from Reno, Nevada, has had a formative influence on mountain biking, especially in the 2000s, popularizing tricks previously seen only in the realm of BMX. And now, we are pleased to announce that Paul is now riding
and joining the Canyon CLLCTV.
“The Canyon CLLCTV is a strong community, like a big family of mountain bikers,” explains Canyon Brand Manager MTB Kerstin Kaufmann. “We are extremely proud to have an absolute legend like Paul join us as a Canyon brand ambassador. It is impressive and inspiring to see how he won the battle to get back on the bike. We look forward to supporting him in his future endeavours.” Paul’s passion for the sport has not wavered. Even though – or maybe because – mountain biking has been at the centre of the greatest achievements as well as the worst setback in his life.
But first things first: Paul’s life has always revolved around bikes. At the age of two, he graduated from training wheels, competed in his first BMX races at six and became the world champion in his age group at ten. His friend Cam Zink convinced him to switch from BMX to mountain biking as a teenager. In 2004, 17-year-old Paul showed up at the Crankworx Slopestyle Contest in Whistler without a bike of his own, let alone any sponsors – and won. A defining victory for ‘Bas’ and the beginning of an impressive career that would take him all around the world, scoring numerous international wins. In 2015, a devastating crash in the finals of Red Bull Rampage put an abrupt end to his career. He had fractured his T12 vertebra and damaged his spinal cord – which meant he might never be able to walk again.
Paul simply couldn’t accept that prognosis. He had always lived for the competition, pushing the limits of what was possible on a bike. And so he decided to fight against his paralysis from the waist down. His supporters from around the world and financial support from the mountain biking community provided additional motivation. After several months of physiotherapy, he was training at home for up to ten hours a day, through many high and low points. But he never gave up and made his way from one positive experience to the next: getting up from the wheelchair on his own for the first time, driving a car again, taking the first steps without crutches. These important milestones on the rocky road back to a sense of normality showed Paul that he could aim higher.
Today, more than five years have passed since the accident, and he is back on the bike. And while he still walks with a stick, Paul is perfectly at home in the saddle. “The e-bike has literally given me a second chance in life,” says Paul. “If it wasn’t for this technology, I wouldn’t have the freedom to go ride with my buddies and explore new zones.” Where constant competition used to be his main motivation, he now finds the greatest joy on longer and longer trail rides, when he can truly feel his legs and exert himself. Recently, he has been exploring the trails around his winter home in Scottsdale, Arizona, on his Canyon Spectral:ON. “I’m really happy with how the bike is performing. The whole mullet set up is new to me and I love how snappy it is for an e-bike,” Paul enthuses about his new e-MTB.
“I’m very blessed to have come this far in the last five years! I still have the same motivation and drive to keep getting better. I set goals and I don’t give up until I reach them! It’s important to progress in all elements in life whether it’s health, wealth, relationships, in your career, etc. If I can progress in all those elements I’ll be one happy guy!” Kerstin Kaufmann adds: “We couldn’t be more happy to see Paul riding Canyon bikes, and we can’t wait to get started on the projects we’ve got lined up with him. Welcome to the Canyon CLLCTV, Paul!”
It doesn’t matter if you’re a trail shredder, downhill racer, or dirt rider. The only thing that matters is that you're all-in. That’s all you need to join our worldwide community – the Canyon Collective. This is where MTB fans and pros from around the world unite to support and inspire one another.
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