Bruni repeats in Rotorua
New bike, same result.
After five days of racing and spectacle, Crankworx closed out with one final event: The Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS. The race featured a World Cup Downhill-worthy track with one of the most unique and technically challenging finish areas in all of mountain biking.
In 2015, the inaugural year of Crankworx Rotorua, Loic Bruni came away with the victory, a win that kick-started a breakout season that culminated with him winning the Downhill World Championship title in September. He returned to the same track in 2016 aboard a new bike, but up against some strong local talent.
In his first official race aboard his new Specialized Demo 8 with SRAM X01, SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes and RockShox Suspension, he bested a host of Kiwis who were looking to win on home soil. Up three seconds at the first split, he got to the bottom 3.19 up on the fastest time, with only one rider remaining.
George Brannigan, the winner of Friday’s Air Downhill, qualified first on his Commencal Supreme DH V4 equipped with SRAM X01 DH, SRAM Guide Ultimate, RockShox BoXXer World Cup, and RockShox Vivid R2C. As the last man down the hill, and the last chance for the Kiwi fans to see a local victory, George put down a blisteringly fast run but, in the end, would fall 2.19 short of the World Champion’s winning time.
Crankworx now shifts to Les Gets, France, in June, where Bruni will have the backing of a home crowd when he looks build on his lead in the Crankworx Downhill Championship standings.