Second To None – World Champion Bruni Takes His First Ever Elite World Cup Downhill Win
With a handful of second-place finishes and too many close calls to count, Loic Bruni (Specialized Gravity Racing powered by SRAM), wearing the coveted World Champion rainbow stripes had never won a single Elite World Cup Downhill race—until this past weekend. Just a week earlier, in the opening round of the season, Bruni qualified fastest, but made a crucial mistake in the finals, putting him on the ground for a brief but devastating soil sample that dashed any chance for victory. Having qualified fourth fastest in Cairns, the pressure seemed to be slightly less for the reigning Champ as he went into the finals. In true World Champion fashion, the young Frenchman blasted his way down the high-speed, rock-infested terrain of Cairns, and posted the fastest time by a comfortable margin. The three riders who out-qualified Bruni on Saturday couldn’t better his time on race day.
Also using SRAM X01 DH, Guide Ultimate, RockShox BoXXer and Vivid Air—Troy Brosnan (Specialized Factory DH Team), having qualified fastest, was the final rider to challenge Bruni’s blistering time. At each split, Brosnan was less then a second away from Bruni’s time, which left zero room for error. Coming into the final pedal toward the finish, it became clear that Brosnan did not have enough in the tank to out sprint the young Frenchman, and a long-awaited World Cup win for the World Champ was Bruni's at last.
With their 1-2 result, Bruni and Brosnan are now a shorter points gap behind World Cup overall leader Aaron Gwin as they head into round three at Fort William, Scotland, just a few short weeks away.
- All photos by Sven Martin