French rider Loïc Bruni racing in France at the opening round of the 2022 World Cup in Lourdes, France on March 26, 2022.
© Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool
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Loïc Bruni's 5 most memorable downhill race runs

French rider Loïc Bruni has put down some incredible runs over his UCI career to date. Here we showcase five victories that were notable for their own reasons.
Written by Rajiv Desai
6 min readPublished on
Loïc Bruni is a born downhill racer who just loves rubber side up racing on the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup circuit or putting it all on the line on the day at the UCI World Championships. If it feels like he's been around for ages, it's because he has. Bruni's racing career now spans more than a decade, having started competing internationally at UCI races as a junior in 2011.
Over that time, the Frenchman has competed in 70 World Cup races and been at 11 World Championships. Bar South African downhill legend Greg Minnaar, Bruni has the best combined World Cup and World Championship record out there with four World Championships and seven World Cup wins to his name. At just 28 and for a man still in his prime, there's still time to add to that wins record. However, for now, let's review five of his most memorable race wins to date.
01

Vallnord World Championships, 2015

4 min

UCI DH World Championships highlights 2015

All the incredible action from an amazing days racing in Andorra.

The legend of SuperBruni was born at the World Championships in Vallnord, Andorra, in 2015. The former Junior World Champion had been racing with the big boys since 2013, steadily rising up the ranks and the placings at World Cup races. He was seen as a dangerous outlier for a possible win. In 2015, Bruni was closer than ever to taking a top World Cup podium spot for the first time. He had four runner-up finishes but was never quite able to secure the win. Super frustrating for Bruni.
The Frenchman used that frustration to good effect at the season-ending Worlds. On a heavily rutted course, Bruni found some new lines where other riders couldn't and knocked the then fastest time of Minnaar into second. The win would be the first of his four World Championship wins.
02

Cairns World Cup, 2016

2 min

UCI Cairns 2016 - Loïc Bruni Winning Run

Loïc Bruni's winning run from the men's 2016 Cairns DH World Cup race

Having not had a World Cup win before becoming World Champion, Bruni was undoubtedly anxious coming into the 2016 season as he bid to secure that first World Cup victory. The season starter in Lourdes was a relative disaster and Bruni might have been wondering how long it would be until he notched up that win. Racing then moved to the other side of the world, to Cairns in Australia, for the second round of the series, and we saw a much more relaxed Bruni.
The Frenchman put in a race run with very few mistakes on the tropical rainforest course, managing to unseat the unheralded Australian Josh Button from top spot. He then had to agonisingly wait for the last three men on the hill - American Aaron Gwin, and local favourites Mick Hannah and Troy Brosnan – to come down to see if they could beat his time.
Everyone held their breath as Hannah and Brosnan crossed the line. Hannah was just under a second out from Bruni's time while last man down Brosnan was less than half a second slower than the Frenchman's time. At last, Bruni was a World Cup winner for the first time.
03

Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup, 2018

3 min

UCI DH World Cup Rd6 Mont-Sainte-Anne: Loïc Bruni race run

Watch Loïc Bruni's winning race run at Rd 6 of the UCI DH World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne on August 11, 2018.

English

If Bruni was expecting the floodgates to open after his first World Cup win he was in for a rude awakening. A broken collarbone saw him miss the majority of the rest of the 2016 season, while 2017 proved to be barren for Bruni, albeit he retained his World Championship crown in Cairns at the end of that year. 2018 proved to be a mixed year too, with Bruni suffering his share of misfortune, including a dislocated elbow at the start of the season.
With not being in contention for the 2018 World Cup overall title, Bruni rode with a certain amount of freedom in the later World Cup races in the season. At Mont-Sainte-Anne, everything clicked for him. On his run, he overcome the fastest time that had been set by Brosnan. Bruni crushed the top part of the high-speed course and was up on the Aussie by an astonishing 1.192s at the third intermediate timing split. Bruni managed the rest of his run to perfection, and in doing so took his second World Cup win. A few weeks later in Lenzerheide, there was more success as he took the World Championship crown for the third time in as many years.
04

Vallnord World Cup, 2019

3 min

Loïc Bruni's run – Vallnord

Watch Loïc Bruni's run in the downhill race at Vallnord, Andorra.

The 2019 season is best remembered for the battle between Bruni and Amaury Pierron to see who could top the overall World Cup standings for the season. Racing for that title went right down to the wire in the season finale in Val di Sole, with Bruni ultimately availing. But it was also Bruni's best-ever World Cup season in his career to date, with three World Cup wins in the year at Maribor, Leogang and in Vallnord.
It was at Vallnord that we saw a Bruni right on top of his form and oozing confidence. He was at his buttery smooth finest, slicing into the leading time of Loris Vergier on the top part of the course. At one point he was 2.5s up on Vergier on an intermediate time split, with no one quite sure where he had taken the time. Bruni showed his growing maturity in the later steeper parts of course by taking minimal risks, and was just ahead of Vergier's time at the finish.
05

Snowshoe World Cup, 2021

3 min

Loïc Bruni's winning run – Snowshoe race 2

Watch the winning run from Loïc Bruni at the second downhill race at Snowshoe, USA.

There were two downhill races at Snowshoe in 2021, and both were important in Bruni winning the overall World Cup title for the second time in his career. The first of the two races saw him finish second. With that, there was some pressure going into race two at the American venue. Bruni knew that only by winning would he have a chance of overhauling Loris Vergier for the title, with his fellow Frenchman leading the overall by 76 points before race two started.
Vergier went down the track before Bruni and had a terrible run, ending up some way down the list of finishers. This meant that fastest qualifier Bruni only needed to do a clean run to become overall champion, but his mindset was to go for it like any other run. He hadn't to that date won a World Cup that season and was determined to make sure that the records showed he got the title on his own merits. With that committed approach, he was the fastest down the hill, and took the win, beating Aussie Troy Brosnan into second.