However, Bruni's mechanic and Lapierre Gravity Republic technical manager, Jack Roure, had a surprise for the 21-year-old Frenchman. Unbeknown to Bruni, Roure had been slaving away for the past few months on a very special bike for the race in Andorra.
Don't be fooled into thinking that this is a chrome-effect paint job – "that would add too much weight to the frame," explains Roure. This bike was hand-polished...
The frame came straight from the factory without paint; raw aluminium. I polished it with a machine and with my hands.
- Jack Roure, Loïc Bruni's mechanic
He had been working on the bike in secret, using the precious-little time he had between his mechanic's role at the World Cup races to get the bike ready in time. "I found some time between races, maybe two hours here and two hours there – It took so long," says Roure.
Making it shine
Lapierre had made special French-themed graphics that Roure then applied to the frame. This mirror-like effect doesn’t come easily, though, with Roure having to polish the bike every day.
With the practice conditions in Andorra having been far from dry, Roure has his work cut-out in order to keep the bike looking shiny. But he isn't deterred by the hard graft.
After the timed session I think I’m going to remove all the graphics and polish the bike again.
Special World Champ parts
Bruni's Lapierre DH Team bike is a custom size, "between L and XL - the Loïc size," says Roure. Along with a custom frame, Bruni was also treated to some one-off parts, with SRAM adding gold jewellery to their top rider’s frames in the form of a chain and cassette.
The conditions in Andorra haven't been the best for the last few days of practice, with heavy rain greeting the riders most mornings. To protect the rear shock from all the mud, Roure has added some foam to the frame.
Additional rain-fighting modifications included sandpaper on Bruni's grips and 2mm cuts on the Schwalbe Dirty Dan tyre tread.
No details were missed in this World Champs build – grips, bar-ends and even the hoses followed the red, white and blue colour-way. To make sure there was absolutely no confusion as to whose bike this was, Crankbrothers etched Bruni's name into his pedals.
Not just a custom bike
Bruni had a massive shock when his new bike was revealed to him – watch his reaction when he saw the bike for the first time – to top off his World Champs weekend. He was also surprised with a matching custom helmet from his helmet and goggles sponsor, 100%.
Check out more of our 2015 MTB Bike Checks:
- Gee Atherton's GT Fury
- Aaron Gwin's SWorks Demo
- Stevie Smith's Devinci Wilson
- Marcelo Gutierrez's Giant Glory Advanced