Meet U23 Member Xander Sugarman

Every week for the next month, we will be introducing a member of the Bear Development Pro Team!
Check in to get the inside scoop on Bear Dev’s U23 Riders!
This week, meet…


Racing Age: 20
Hometown: Santa Rosa, CA
Race Bike of Choice: Trek Top Fuel
Favorite Training Song: “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
Best Post-Ride Snack: Chocolate shake

I grew up in Santa Rosa, California. Cycling was definitely not my first interest; before I became obsessed with racing mountain bikes, I was a competitive swimmer, tennis player, and cross country runner. In 2010, I had open heart surgery because of a hole between my left and right ventricles due to a birth defect. After a 6 month recovery, I could finally be active again. At this point in time I was mainly focused on swimming, and after about a year I noticed a significant improvement. My heart had to do less work, and did not need to compensate for blood leaking into my right ventricle. If my heart defect had not been found, I definitely would not be nearly the athlete I am today.

Growing up in Santa Rosa, a huge cycling community, made it easy to get into cycling. Ever since 5th grade I was really into bikes. I was extremely lucky to have hundreds of miles of awesome single-track to ride. I went through a phase where I thought I was invincible, and broke my right wrist twice and left wrist once, in a little less than three years. Thankfully I outgrew that before I started racing seriously in high school. I joined my high school team and started racing in the Norcal High School Cycling League. This is what really started it all, it was an incredible experience! After sophomore year I was invited to race on Bear Development as a junior, this was an amazing opportunity to race against some of the fastest juniors around the United States.

I started racing professionally as a senior in high school. This was an eye opener; I was one of the youngest people in the pro field and realized I needed to take my training much more seriously to keep up with these guys. Another challenge was also racing the high school league at the same time. I won every Norcal League high school race and finished my season by winning State Championships. I focused my training around peaking at State Championships, and unfortunately was not at my best form at Nationals and DNF’d.

I am now a freshman, studying Mechanical Engineering at CU Boulder. Mixing college and training to be a professional athlete is definitely a challenge. But with the racing season right around the corner, extremely generous sponsors, and an awesome team right by my side, this season is going to be better than ever.