The first Elite Men's World Cup Downhill race of 2019 was won on a bike with a 29-inch front wheel and 27.5-inch rear wheel today in Maribor, Slovenia. Loic Bruni, the current downhill World Champion took his prototype Specialized Demo with the mixed wheel sizes to the top of the podium in a hotly contested race on a blisteringly fast track. The weather held for race day, track conditions were perfect and all it took was Super Bruni being faster by just .4 seconds to earn a victory.
photos by @maddogboris, interviews by Sven Martin
Loic's prototype features Ohlins suspension front and rear, Magura MT7 brakes, DT Swiss wheels, Joystick cockpit, SRAM X01 DH 7-speed drivetrain (blacked out) with e*thirteen chainguide. We can see in the photos that he's running blacked out Maxxis tires. What looks like a Minion DHF up front (29") and a Minion DHR II (27.5") out back. Loic's skills are what get him to the top of the box, but it's a highly technical team effort with his mechanic Jack, and their data acquisition information used during practice that give the friendly Frenchman's bike a perfect set up for race day.
Loic Bruni post-race interview
Brad Benedict of Specialized
Loic Smashing it aboard an incredibly dialed bike in 2018