The Loïc Bruni Interview

Sep 29, 2015
by Dave Trumpore  
First off, the whole Pinkbike community and I would like to say congratulations on your amazing breakout season. It was a pleasure watching you week in and week out, holding your head high even when the bad luck seemed to find you over and over again. How does it feel, after all the ups and downs to finish off the season as the World Champion?

It is pretty insane for me to become World Champion after a three year unsuccessful chase of World Cup wins. I am a really simple guy, as long as I see some friends at the races and ride well, I'm happy. And I thought I wasn't a World Champ man, so it was great to surprise myself with that win. I feel exactly the same as before but now I have a good confirmation of a good season!


Is it a relief to win Worlds so early on in your career? Unlike guys like Steve Peat who took years and years or guys like Aaron Gwin who despite having dominant seasons are still hunting for those rainbow stripes, does it relieve a bit of pressure for the upcoming seasons?

At the moment I don't feel any pressure from the rainbow, the season is over and I have my jersey for one year so it's amazing. I think I will still have the same envy to win a World Cup and I just hope that the title won’t change my approach of racing next year. Even if I had the chance to do it early, being World Champ is not a reaching point, I want to be the best possible for the longest time possible. This last race was amazing and if I can do it more often I'll be the most satisfied.

A rider s favorite and a fan favorite Loic is carried through the crowd to the World Champs podium.
A rider's favorite and a fan favorite, Loic is carried through the crowd to the World Champs podium.

On top of the world.
On top of the world.

Shots from the Loic Bruni Interview by Dave Trumpore


That said, you have yet to win a World Cup race. What do you feel is more important; winning the World Cup overall and the individual rounds or winning World Champs?

Yes for me definitely the overall winner tells who's the best rider of the year. Aaron showed everyone that 2015 was his year, he was insanely fast and consistent, so to me, he is the best. World Champs is one day, one track, and one run. So if you like the track and have a 'suicidal' run, you have your chance. In an overall series like the World Cup, you can't always ride like that. That's why becoming number two overall was already awesome for me, and I went to Andorra relaxed and with my season already filled up.


A lot of people have tapped you as the next big thing for some time now, but it wasn't until this past season that you've really begun to live up to the expectations. Do you feel the pressure to perform or do you just set your own goals and block all that out?

I've always had expectations. After Juniors I had a sick year coming fourth overall in my first year in Elite and I'm still proud of this today. I don't care about expectations, if people and sponsors are happy it's cool but I hate having to prove stuff. Last year I had some good speed, but also lots of crashes and flats. This year I just found my 'racing path' where I could stay in control. If people expected me to win it's cool, I'd like to win too, but don't get disappointed if I don't do it. I'm racing against huge champions that train more than me and are more experienced too, so it's never easy to be on any of the top spots.

Loic started the year ranked 10th and finished as the World Champion.
Loic started the year ranked tenth and finished as the World Champion.

A foreshadowing of things to come way back in April during the WC in Lourdes France
A foreshadowing of things to come way back in April during the World Cup in Lourdes, France

Second to kick off the season in Lourdes behind Aaron Gwinn the man Loic would battle all season long for the top spot.
Second to kick off the season in Lourdes behind Aaron Gwin, Loic would battle all season long for the top spot.


2014 was an up and down season but from the get-go in 2015 you came out guns blazing; winning Crankworx New Zealand in March, taking second at Lourdes in April and qualifying first at Fort William in May. It was as if you were a completely different racer this season. Did you change your approach in the off season? What made the difference to consistently have the speed to challenge for the win at every race?

I worked more, we had our new bike ready, and in the head I was stronger. I felt like when there were any low points I was feeling, I was able to find the way to build my confidence back up and to ride at my best. Like Fort William, the weather was awful and wet, bad for a south of France guy, but I had such good feelings on the track, just thinking about committing and enjoying it. I was surprise about how consistent I was this season and except for Windham with the flat tire, I was all year in the top ten and that's cool. If my head stays solid I think I can keep improving for next year. Sometimes you get slow for a moment without understanding why and I hope this wont happen.

The first photo taken from the New Zealand team camp back in early March.
The first photo taken from the New Zealand team camp back in early March.

Team Camp in New Zealand.
Team Camp in New Zealand.

Loic Bruni wins Crankworx New Zealand to kick off the 2015 season.
Loic Bruni wins Crankworx New Zealand to kick off the 2015 season.

The race winner can never sign too many autographs
The race winner can never sign too many autographs


OK, let's switch gears a bit and touch on your background a bit. What got you into downhill mountain biking? Where did it all begin?

My dad was a racer and a good one. He is a current masters World Champion, so I wanted to do the same as him! It began when I first went to ride with fast club mates and loved it, then I was watching Blenky (Sam Blenkinsop) in Juniors, Sam Hill, all the videos, and fell in love with World Cups and with the sport. And now I know from a few years experience, and I can tell you it's a great sport with awesome guys. You have more or less passionate people involved but it stays cool and is a good way to live.


Who gave you your first break? Who spotted your talent?

My dad was the first one. He always insisted on me having sh*t bikes to learn well on and then when I turned 15 it would be time for a downhill bike. He never pushed me or assisted me too much, as he was doing his own stuff and did a good job for the whole club so this was pretty cool for me. Stefane Girard and Sunn offered me a deal with a satellite team of young guns with friends (Reno Smaniotto and Chloe Gallean) when I was 15 and that same season I got my first top ten at a French national round. Soon after Laurent Delorme (current Lapierre Gravity Republic team owner) and Cyril L'agneau came to me for the start of my Junior seasons.

Loic having a bit of fun during a photoshoot for ONE Industries in France.
Loic having a bit of fun during a photo shoot for ONE Industries in France.


Nico Vouilloz is one the most legendary riders in mountain biking. How long have you known Nico? How, if it all, has your relationship with him moulded you as a racer?

I've know him since I was a kid and my dad was bringing him to the races before he was on the World Cup so he is like a cousin to me. He has always been nice and kind with me; he is an awesome rider and good man. But I maybe have ridden less than ten times with him. When we meet it's not necessarily for riding. I respect him so much but I knew I didn't want to be the same racer as him, so serious. I still wanted to have more fun.


It's also a little known fact that you are a full time student studying Economics. You were still writing your exams after the opening round in Lourdes, and then went straight into the classroom two days after World Champs. How do you balance the two?

I do it because it's bringing me back to the ground and I feel 'normal' when I go to school. I almost have few close friends because I'm shy and I am not in the same spirit as most of the students as I don't like playing a certain role. I speak to people that speak to me, and I observe. It's cool and it's enough to satisfy my social life - haha. And after racing I want to have a good job to earn good money, so I go to school to help my future. I think It's not vital and you can succeed without, but I like the idea of doing both and this year I should have more time for bikes, so it's perfect.


Obviously education is something you see a lot of value in, but why now? Why not just focus on racing in the here and now?

Because I have no friends at 21, if I go back at school at 40, I'm dead! Nah, seriously if I trained everyday alone I'd be sad. For school it's now or never really and I am able to do both without too many frustrations.


At only 21 you seem quite wise beyond your years in both your approach to life and racing. You're incredibly humble and grounded for someone so young who has had so much attention and success. Is this something that comes naturally, or do you have role models within the sport who have helped shape this side of you?

Of course when you are a kid you look up to champions as role models, and all the riders I liked weren't big mouths or di*kheads. Even though I like Cedric a lot, I couldn't become just like him, it's just not my natural personality. What I really can't bear are the people that feel like they are too cool, so I don't want to be like them. And after all, we have no reasons to be above others. Fortunately, I've had the chance to work with experienced people too like Laurent and Jack (mechanic), so they bring me maturity.

Fort William Scotland
Fort William Scotland

Fort William Scotland sporting the 1 plate of the World Cup series leader.
Fort William Scotland sporting the #1 plate of the World Cup series leader.

After qualifying in 1st a random rock hidden in a rut ended Loic Bruni s hopes at taking his first World Cup win in Fort William.
After qualifying in first, a random rock hidden in a rut ended Loic Bruni's hopes at taking his first World Cup win in Fort William.


You have 'grown up' so to speak in front of a lot of race fans on camera more than most riders out there. With the various documentaries over the past seasons, and most recently in the mini series 'Bruni & Vergier Versus the World', a lot of people have gotten insight into what it is like to be Loïc Bruni. Do you feel what people see on screen is an accurate depiction of who you are? Do you enjoy seeing so much of your life off the track being put out there for the world to see?

Yeah I think it's quite a good estimation of my life racing and training. Mono (filmmaker) is a good friend so I'm always natural in front of him and I don't fake anything. You can feel what I don't like, when I'm happy or angry, etc... I don't necessarily like being exposed to the ‘world’ because I'm shy but nowadays I think that this is what people want to see, they want to know everything and feel like your friend. I really like fans, they make you exist and it's amazing to see admiration in their eyes, but it's so easy to be forgotten. One sh*t season and you loose a lot of notoriety. That's why I'm thinking in the back of my mind, ‘protect’ myself from this. Fans are not eternal; some real ones are and will always stand by you. I know who these people are. Thanks to them by the way, love you.

Loic getting loosein Les 2 Alps while shooting for the new ONE Industries catalog.
Loic getting loose in Les 2 Alps while shooting for the new ONE Industries catalogue.


When first on the scene in 2011 you barely spoke English and Blenky used to mess with you and get you to do and say funny things in front the camera. A lot of his humor and personality seems to have rubbed off on you. How much influence has he had on your career?

Definitely a lot. Blenky was a role model and he became one of my best friends. He showed me many sides of being pro and introduced me to many Kiwis and cool mates. He never changed his attitude towards me when we started to race at the same level, and now he is gone from our team and I miss him. Blenky is the best character of my career and he did so much for me, of course I took some of his personality and he has left his mark on the guy I am today.


Now it seems the roles have changed and you are the mentor to the young up and coming talent on the team, most specifically Finn Iles. What's it like having a kid like Finn on the team, and do see a lot of you and Blenky in your relationship with Finn?

Yeah, and it feels weird sometimes to be the oldest of the team at 21. It's different because I'm not Finn's idol and I didn't really like it during team camp in New Zealand being the oldest. In five years it was the first time this happened and I had liked it so much being the little brother of Sam. Then suddenly I had no more big brother and I became the one for Finn so the transition has been quite hard. But Finn is really fun and rides good so he is bringing a good spirit from Whistler into the team.

Loic and Finn in NZ riding together for the first time during team camp way back in March.
Loic and Finn in NZ riding together for the first time during team camp way back in March.

Loic and Finn Iles messing around and keeping things fun during a photo shoot.
Loic and Finn Iles messing around and keeping things fun during a photoshoot.


You are not only a crowd favorite, but also the riders' favorite. It seems that each week everyone is pulling for you, and it's as if they shared in the sadness when the bad luck hit. Why do you think your competition wants to see you succeed so much?

I won't say that I'm anyone's favorite, but just people and riders like me because I don't think I give anyone reasons to hate on me. I'm simple and I like pretty much everyone so I'm glad when I see that people are good to me when I do well. But there is more to it though. I'm doing this because I have good times and I like having cool mates on races and I couldn't be happy doing what I do if no one would appreciate me.

Mont Sainte Anne
Mont Sainte Anne.

Charging through the woods in Mont Sainte Anne
Charging through the woods in Mont-Sainte-Anne.

Loic Bruni looked to be on an unstoppable time in MSA but a mechanical cost him in the end and he would finish just 0.20 back.
Loic Bruni looked to be on an unstoppable time in Mont-Sainte-Anne but a mechanical cost him in the end and he would finish just 0.20 back.

A derailed chain far above split one kept Bruni from putting in any pedal strokes for the final 2 minutes of the track in Canada.
A derailed chain far above split one kept Bruni from putting in any pedal strokes for the final two minutes of the track in Canada.

Another second place in Mont Sainte Anne
Another second place in Mont-Sainte-Anne


Similarly, you seem to share in the joy of your competitors when they succeed. Multiple times this year you crossed the line off the top time and straight away pointed to the riders on the hot seat to congratulate them. You are all there to win, but in defeat do you appreciate the efforts put in by those who beat you?

Yeah of course, I'm racing against really talented and strong riders so I'm respectful of my opponents. When I crossed the line in Fort Bill after crashing, I saw Greg in the hot-seat and then I was stoked that he was the one that time. It was the same in Lenzerheide with Greg, and Mont-Sainte-Anne with Josh. Those two are so nice and it almost feels good to be beaten by them because they deserve to experience being the best. Of course we all want to beat each other but one of the reason why I love this sport is because we are pretty much all good lads and it's a pleasure to live in this context.

Loic would make it 2 for 2 in the Crankworx series backing up his win from NZ with another in Les 2 Alps.
Loic would make it two for two in the Crankworx series, backing up his win from NZ with another in Les 2 Alpes.

With scorching temps all week what better way to cool down than with an ice cold shower of champagne in Crankworx L2A.
With scorching temps all week, what better way to cool down than with an ice cold shower of champagne in Crankworx L2A?


It's quite apparent you and Greg Minnaar are also very close. How did that relationship come about?

Greg first came to me when I was a Junior. He didn't have to but he is nice and came to chat. I remember as a junior at Fort Bill we were in the same restaurant as the Syndicate guys and they were so cool, bringing me shots to tease me. After the race we talked more and more. He never changed his way to see me, maybe just his estimate as a racer but not as a person, and we became friends because we are both easy going and happy people. I like talking with others riders cause they all have different mentalities and it's helpful sometimes when you have doubts about yourself.

Through the speed trap in Lenzerheide.
Through the speed trap in Lenzerheide.

Second again in Lenzerheide.
Second again in Lenzerheide.


You were second to Greg in Lenzerheide when he set the record for World Cup wins, and then he was second to you at World Champs. Were those moments extra special because of this, standing next to each other on the podium?

Yeah, being elbow-to-elbow with Greg is a honor and in the history books forever I will be second on that day when he set the record. He is always insanely solid at Worlds, so I had a tough challenge in Andorra. Being able to beat Greg to become World Champion is honestly something that I will always be proud of.


The team structure at Lapierre Gravity Republic looks to be one of the best in the sport. What part has this played as you developed as a rider?

It is one of the best and it's helped me so much when the only thing I had to do was finishing the job. Laurent, Jack, and the rest are working hard with the sponsors and every one puts a lot of effort into the group, including the riders. I care a lot about this structure, I've had opportunities to leave it but it feels like home right now. Of course it's not eternal, but I want to enjoy it as long as possible. As a rider it's really important to be supported, and when I was a kid it was my dad and family and now it's team and the sponsors. I am someone who appreciates being 'loved' so it's important.

Team manager Laurent Delorme and Loic chat after Loic s race run crash in Fort William.
Team manager Laurent Delorme and Loic chat after Loic's race run crash in Fort William.

It s a smooth running operation at Lapierre.
It's a smooth running operation at Lapierre.


How about Loris Vergier? I feel a lot of people either don't know much about him or hadn't paid much attention to him this year with all of your success. Even I'll admit, in 2014 I couldn't quite figure him out either, but this season he has really come into his own on and off the bike and is quite a character. He is fast, stylish, funny, and a dedicated friend to you. What's it like having a him as a team-mate?

Yeah Loris has been doing great stuff since getting aboard with us. It's not easy for him because a lot of people always compare us, and he is evolving just a few steps behind me. Sometimes I make things a lot easier for him because I help him from making the same mistakes, but there are also times I keep more to myself and it's hard for him to make his own road. We've been friends since we were four or five, and this year was the first time we were racing the same category so things have changed a little bit which is natural. Regardless I think I am still a positive person for him and I'm still inspiring the rider and boy he is. But when he goes off to fly by himself he is going to be more happy I think, and he will likely be ready to do so soon.

Loris Vergier always helps keep the mood light in the pits during stressful race weekends.
Loris Vergier always helps keep the mood light in the pits during stressful race weekends.


Will anything change if Loris starts to beat you?

I can't tell but I don't think so. He is a good friend and we don't need to speak to understand each other. But it's an individual sport, and even if I like being helpful for him, I have some stuff I prefer to keep for myself, and so does he. He is really fast and we have quite the same life (coach, team, bike, preparation) and he sees what's working or not on me, so he has an advantage in the time it takes to learn. It won't be surprising when he beats me.

Teammates and friends Loic and Loris discussing the track at World Champs.
Team-mates and friends, Loic and Loris discussing the track at World Champs.

Loic and Loris trading battle stores after a muddy training session in Andorra.
Loic and Loris trading battle stores after a muddy training session in Andorra.


You hit possibly your lowest point this season in Windham when a puncture essentially ruined your hopes of winning the World Cup overall. Did it soften the blow a bit to see Loris on the podium that day, despite your own frustrations?

Yeah Windham was pretty rude for me. In 2014 I already flatted and to repeat the same disappointment and lose all chance to battle at Val di Sole for the overall wasn't cool to live with. Then Loris goes out and does the run of the year so it was hard not being able to be 100% happy for him. My entire body had a bitter taste and I was still pretty frustrated.


You always take the highs and the lows in stride and I think that is what makes your character so likable. You've always said to me when things didn't go your way that it simply wasn't meant to be that day, and you always just bounce right back up with a super positive outlook on things. All the crashes, the broken chain, the washed out final corners, none of it seemed to get you down. In Windham though this wasn't the case, and for the first time ever it was apparent that you were extremely frustrated. Was that the last straw so to speak? Was it just too much, and too many missed chances to not let it finally get to you?

Yeah, for the first time. My season was consistent even if I had a crashed in Fort William or broke the chainring in MSA. I was still proud of this. I felt really good in Windham, qualified second and had the best position to disturb the 'un-disturbable', Aaron Gwin for the overall. I felt the flat after 25-seconds and couldn't believe it. It was going softer and softer but I still fought for the best but near the bottom it finally went totally flat. All this work and effort, the risks and sacrifices made, and at the critical moment I have a flat tire. I couldn't believe it. This time was too much, the bad luck was too heavy, and after race was really hard. It's not often that anything can make me like this, but the next day is a new day and it was over. The team is so cool and the only thing I could do was move forward.


You are always smiling and in a good mood. Besides a flat tire in Windham what else pisses you off?

I don't really enjoy rain, cocky people, bad food or feeling really sore after a crash. I have pretty much everything I need to be happy so that's what I am.


After Windham you skipped Crankworx Whistler and went back home. What did you get up to? What did you do to reset mentally and refocus after such a big let-down with two very important races coming up in Val do Sole and Andorra?

We decided at MSA that I wouldn't be going to Whistler, I love that place but simply had better things to do. Going for another week of riding, shooting, and partying wasn't the best option for the last races. And I realized Aaron, Greg and many others wouldn't go there either, so that put the ball in my court. I knew season needed to finish well, and after Windham I needed to go home and see my family.

Shots from the Loic Bruni Interview by Dave Trumpore

Full moto while shooting for ONE amp 661 this past summer in Les 2 Alps.
Full moto while shooting for ONE & 661 this past summer in Les 2 Alps.

Shots from the Loic Bruni Interview by Dave Trumpore


Then things turned around a bit in Val di Sole. It was another second place, but did it help your confidence going into World Champs? Did finishing second overall take some the pressure off you before World Champs?

Yeah I was stoked with Val di Sole. I had a smooth ride and really seemed to control my speed all weekend. Then Greg and Troy crashed so I came back on the second spot overall, which was a great way to end the World Cup season. Coming into Worlds it was kind of a bonus race, so not much pressure. My season was already a success through my eyes.

Val di Sole
Val di Sole

Val di Sole
Val di Sole

Loic takes a lap of the finish arena following another top performance in Italy.
Loic takes a lap of the finish arena following another top performance in Italy.

The top five in the overall World Cup standings hold their trophies in Val di Sole.
The top five in the overall World Cup standings hold their trophies in Val di Sole.


You and your mechanic Jack obviously enjoy a very special relationship that goes way beyond one of just mechanic and rider. What sort of work behind the scenes and what advice does he give that helps you achieve your goals?

He is a really good friend and his experience is golden. He knows me well and lets me learn by myself and teaches me when I can't understand. He knows how to make me happy with full factory parts and he is so funny! I relax at the start only because I see his face and I know he is here. He is not afraid of working hard and wants the best. He is a quality man.

Loic and Jack
Loic and Jack

Rider and mechanic during team camp in New Zealand.
Rider and mechanic during team camp in New Zealand.


When Jack presented you with your World Champs bike after hours and hours of hand polishing it in secret, how special was that moment to you? Are gestures like that the type of thing that help lift a rider’s mentally to perform just that little bit better at an event like World Champs?

This moment was amazing. I know he always makes special bikes and this time I really thought I wouldn't have one. So when I saw the most beautiful bike of my life, the chrome 100% helmet, the ONE Industry gear, I almost cried with joy. I was so excited about it. Jack did this beauty of a bike in secret so it seemed even more sick for me to discover it just a few hours before practice. We are so lucky! I think this helped me realize how different and cool World Champs are, and see that the sponsors and staff do their best to make us happy. So I wanted to give even more than my best. Even when no one was riding due to the rain, I went out for training and god knows how much I hate rain.

Loic in love with his new custom bike at World Champs. His mechanic Jack prepped the bike in secret and surprised Loic on the morning of the first training session.
Loic in love with his new custom bike at World Champs. His mechanic Jack prepared the bike in secret and surprised Loic on the morning of the first training session.

Loic Gives Jack a well deserved kiss after receiving his custom bike at World Champs.
Loic Gives Jack a well deserved kiss after receiving his custom bike at World Champs.

World Champs Andorra
World Champs Andorra


What was your approach to World Champs? Did you feel any pressure or were you just trying to have fun?

I am not like Greg, Nico, or Fabien, who have made World Champs a big focus. I focused my season on World Cups and was just enjoying World Champs. A rumor was spreading that said that I practised a lot in secret on the Vallnord track, but I had not at all. I wanted to shut the mouths of those that were saying I knew the track perfectly. So this was another motivation, but no pressure.


I know Jack gave you some good advice before the race. What did he say?

He felt that after timed practice I wasn't really motivated as I should be, and he helped me realize that the season wasn't finished just yet. We had a good year and he knew we were able to win in Andorra, so I just had to believe in me. And I totally organize my race day differently. More pro and efficient, the track was dryer and I felt good. He did half of the work.


What was going through your head in the start gate? And what were you thinking during your run? Did you know you were on a good one?

In the start gate I told myself "Gosh Lolo, in 30 seconds you will be on your World Champs run and the last one of the year". So I decided to commit hard and enjoy. My run wasn't consistent and I had really good parts and some corners totally messed up, so I kept it calm and made sure to breath a lot before the last steep part. From the steep part on I had so much fun. I was so close to the limits and it felt awesome!

Up at all the splits and only a few meters to go in Andorra.
Up at all the splits and only a few meters to go in Andorra.


You were obviously ecstatic when you crossed the line, but then had an agonizing wait for the next six minutes while Troy Brosnan and Aaron Gwin were on track. Did you think you could do it, or did all those second places fill you with doubts? Describe how it feels to wait out the last few riders from the hot-seat at World Champs? It is a feeling surely none of us know.

Yeah I was so happy to cross the line with green. I felt like I was liberated and was so stoked with my riding, and with only two to go I knew I had a medal for sure. Then I was used to finishing second - haha, so I was happy enough waiting. Troy was behind on splits and crashed so I started thinking about it but the best rider was left at the top. Gwin was slower at the first split and the crowd was becoming so crazy! But I know nothing was done yet and I was talking with my mom and sister when Aaron crashed. So it was Josh who told me and just looked me with his eyes like "What the [expletive] Bruni!" Then I just exploded I was so, so, so happy. I felt like I finally did it and the feeling was so powerful when I saw Laurent, Loris, my coach, all the riders, Blenky, my friend Reno and the fans, all coming over to the podium so stoked for me. It was unforgettable.


Not too many riders winning a race can cause so many people to shed a tear of joy. Until now have you been aware of how many people have wanted to see you succeed? Not just fans but other racers and people in the industry?

I think all my second places and my ‘bad luck’ showed people I was able to win. But I never did it until Andorra so they may have felt my motivation and came along with me chasing that elusive win. I was surprised to see so many riders and people I don't necessarily know coming to me and saying congrats from their hearts. I really appreciate these moments and realize how cool this day was. It brought so much emotion to me to see people's reactions.

The moment years of hard work paid off. It was an emotional one for a lot of people.
The moment years of hard work paid off. It was an emotional one for a lot of people.


Sven Martin has asked you this before, but I wanted to ask it again since I think it sums up who you are well. There are winners and there are champions, though similar, they are not nearly the same thing. We all know which one you are, but in your own words, what makes someone a champion?

For me a champion is someone who is talented, but works hard to develop it and improve his weaknesses. A guy who is both humble and has courtesy with the people around him with a simple vision of life; to be honest and with a good spirit and able to lift themselves to a higher level than the others when it counts. That's the person I'm trying to be. It's been a long time since I started trying to win a big race, and until now I could never could succeed. I have been patient and never stopped trying my hardest. I'm really proud of the road we did with the team to arrive at this moment. A champion doesn't build himself, his team and the close people around him help him or he fails.

Team manager coach and riders reviewing helemt cam footage after practice in Val di Sole. It is very much a group effort for the Lapierre Gravity Republic.
Team manager, coach, and riders reviewing helmet cam footage after practice in Val di Sole. It is very much a group effort for the Lapierre Gravity Republic.

Friends and family celebrate in Val di Sole following World Cup finals.
Friends and family celebrate in Val di Sole following World Cup finals.

Despite all the tough luck Loic was still all smiles when he received the trophy for 2nd overall in the Word Cup.
Despite all the tough luck, Loic was still all smiles when he received the trophy for second overall in the Word Cup.

Loic Bruni and teammate Loris Vergier celebrate victory in Andorra.
Loic Bruni and team-mate Loris Vergier celebrate victory in Andorra.


The rider who will win Junior Worlds in 2023 is only 10 years old right now. How does it feels to know that you are likely that kid's biggest role model right now?

I don't know, sounds weird to me but I am honored if kids want to become like me or stuff like that. I think we all need role models in life and if I can help youngsters to find motivation and get inspired it's something can always be proud of. Thanks kids!


You are World Champion, and will wear the most coveted jersey in cycling for an entire year. What extra responsibility comes with that privilege?

I will just try to be deserving of it. Of course the next World Championships will be different and I will have more pressure on me, but I'm still looking for my first World Cup win and that's my goal. I think next year is going to be another sick year of racing. I'm quiet excited to be honest.


Finally, who are the people responsible for Loic Bruni being World Champion?

My family that always support me.
Jack my mechanic and friend.
Laurent my team manager.
Loris.
Kevin.
Blenky.
Finn.
My coach Extrain.
Mono the team filmmaker.
The French staff and Manu Huber.
All my friends at home.
My dear girl.

Other riders like Josh, Steve, Greg, Wyn, Brook, Troy and Aaron. All the nice riders I didn't mention.
SRAM and Lapierre for their big support.
One industries and 100% for the sick style, 661.
Buff, Easton, Schwalbe, SDG, David from Crankbrothers, Lizardskins.

People who come out and put the fire on the side of the track.
Fans.
Cyril Laganiao.
The Vergier family.
The Racaud family.
The Cauvin family.
The Smama family.
Nico.
Fabien.
Guillaume Tangue the designer.
Red Bull.
Régis from Prefal.
Les Gets Bike Park.
Martin the masseur.
Christine from Scott.
The hosts in Andorra, such a good event, Joseph and Cathy.

Cam Cole.
Billy Le Belge.
Photographers and friends like Boris, Dave, Sven, Duncan, Nathan.
Hervé Orny.
Guns n Roses.
Zouz.
Bohic Jean-Yves.
And all the people that follow me and are behind me, I'm sorry for the ones I forget.

Love, enjoy
LoLo Bruni.


World Champion. After a year filled with second place finishes Loic finally took home gold in Andorra.
World Champion. After a year filled with second place finishes Loic finally took home gold in Andorra.



77 Comments

  • 158 4
 Such a class act. No one deserved that win more than Bruni. So stoked he got it. Gwin will be sweating a lot more next year.
  • 34 0
 Minnaar said it best when he said he didn't lose the race, but "won silver"
  • 8 0
 reading the whole article in loic's accent. Same goes to Fabien's.
  • 7 0
 I like how Barel and Vouilloz (and a few more people) get all excited by Bruni's victory (they were at an "enduro" race in France).
www.facebook.com/genepiFILM/videos/10152971318922245/?pnref=story
  • 96 1
 What an absolute champ! Much respect to Bruni's humility and overall approach to life, best wishes dude!
  • 24 0
 Exactly. You can see why him and Minnaar are so close.
  • 2 0
 did you see the commencal post on instagram?
  • 3 0
 instagram.com/p/77yhBVPZEr/?taken-by=maxcommencal

could greg be leaving the syndicate?
  • 13 0
 shit. I just got called to IT's office for clicking that Instagram link, I'll be back in a few
  • 50 1
 Loic you are a legend ! You made all frenchies so proud while being a true ambassador of the sports probably the best ambassador that the sports ever had. Even if you beat our riders too often , just don’t change anything ! You’re the best example for our young generation , we need more rider like you , relax , genuinely a good person , loyal , grateful, simple but smart keeping your feet on the ground and still going to university...
I feel lucky to know you and to have witnessed your incredible beginning of career !

CousCous
  • 35 0
 this guy crushes, mercylessly CRUSHES all the stupid stereotypes and prejudices i have for french people. most down to earth, most humble, most easygoing dude EVER. he deserves this and 1000 more wins. go lolo!
  • 3 0
 there are dozens of us, DOZENS !
  • 31 0
 Loïc Bruni = true sportsmanship. Well deserved. Excited to see what he's gonna bring for next season!
  • 23 0
 This was my favorite quote, "Even though I like Cedric a lot, I couldn't become just like him, it's just not my natural personality" - I think some people should take note when they complain about riders not being like Ratboy, and being more mellow and serious. Not everyone can have that personality. I enjoy people that are just themselves.
  • 22 0
 I love this quote:

"My dad was the first one. He always insisted on me having sh*t bikes to learn well on and then when I turned 15 it would be time for a downhill bike. "

You can see where being humble comes from quite clearly. Also really interesting to hear he isn't afraid to be an individual and do things his own way while also having really good self-awareness. All the accolades are well deserved Loic

Very special and talented guy for sure!
  • 25 0
 That is the best article I've ever read on Pinkbike. Loic's answers are superb.
  • 2 0
 great, great interview. well done pb!
  • 15 0
 "as long as I see some friends at the races and ride well, I'm happy". Yep. That's the spirit.
  • 14 1
 Damn, what a guy. Loic has quickly become one of my favourite riders, feel privileged to watch a legend in the making.
  • 15 1
 More Pro DH rider interviews please Pinkbike!
  • 10 0
 What a saint - Mad respect.
  • 1 0
 Saint? X0, I believe.
I jest.

Well done, crazy fast, and a classy character for sure.
  • 9 0
 He is a heck of a racer, and character for the circuit. His partners are lucky to have him.
  • 5 0
 So deserving! The world needs more kids like Loic. Pinkbike also needs more like this - that was a fantastic interview.
  • 2 0
 am super pumped for Loic. He seems like such a fun yet professional up-and-coming pro. I wish him many years of World Cup DH success. Being a Gwin fan, I was REALLY hoping Aaron could finally land the Rainbow stripes. However, I can't think of anybody I would rather see win the stripes other than Loic! Well done sir, can't wait for next year's World Cup DH season!
  • 2 0
 The way he kept control of his bike at that speed on some of the steeper parts of the track was just jaw dropping to watch.I was so happy to see him get the rainbow stripes as he comes across as such a good guy and a deserving winner.
  • 2 0
 I don't know why all the negative props for @StevePark? He asked a very valid question and this is something I've never understood about DH. Very few (I can't think of any) sports that disregard an entire season for 1 event. Although he's French, Loic Bruni is one of my favorite current riders (this article solidifies that). But it's just strange that 1 race seems to carry more weight than an entire season of riding. *sips Mountain Dew and surfs for more articles to comment on
  • 1 2
 it's just a different title. Gwin is overall world cup winner. Bruni is world cup champion. If you want to call gwin "overall world cup champion" or bruni "world champ winner", you can but i don't see the interest. And NOBODY ever said that the world champs disregards the overall world cup. It's just different. Learn to live with it.
  • 3 0
 Its a different title. It really doesn't hold as much weight as overall imo, however with that being said it is a much more exciting race. Gwin had the overall basically polished weeks before it was put down on paper. However worlds is after all other major races are done. There are no tactics, or smart riding. Everyone is just #-$-%ing given er, making the most exciting race of the year, so the person that wins is more memorable because of the emotion worlds bring to both riders and the viewing public.
  • 2 0
 I think the world cup should be the world championship. Points over a season is worth a lot more, but you need a decent length season to make it more exciting. That's something we don't have.
The one day world championships is a bit of a strange one in my opinion. You wo one race, so what? Gwin won five. I am in no way trying to piss on Bruni. I think he's a totally awesome dude and I hope he goes on to win the overall next year. As far as magnitude of achievement goes, second in the world cup is much smaller than world champ in the eyes of most fans, despite being much, much harder to achieve.

They should bin the world championships, just have it as another round, and add a few other big races to the world cup roster. I'm thinking about points from all three crankworks, taxco, and some other big races.
  • 2 1
 I disagree...I think the separately contested event adds a different sort of excitement to the season. Brings out the "win or crash" best in the riders, and as I mention below, greater international representation and participation. Most riders would agree with you, I think, that they'd rather win the World Cup overall, but there's a certain magic that comes with the all-or-nothing, one-shot victory, that can't be replaced by a longer "regular season."

I don't know how "proper football" works, but for most mainstream sports in the USA, the regular season is meaningless except to qualify teams for the championship game. It don't matter if you play a perfect season; if you don't win the final, you're nothing. At least here in mountain bike land a good season means something.
  • 1 0
 haha, Cycling is influenced by 2 other type of disciplines, Motor vehicle sports (MX, Autoracing, eg) and self endurace sports (track sprinting, long distance running, swimming, etc...)
The first works mostly in a format of several races through a championship, whoever gets more wins or points by the end of the season is World Champion or World CUP champion.
The second, even though there are competitions through the year these competitions do not work on a pointing system, there is only one race mid or late summer in which one can become World champion or Olimpic champion.

it is just that cycling doesn't know which discipline to follow, so it sticks with both influences.
  • 1 0
 Ecologist, you make a great point about win or bust. The worlds is an exciting race that's for sure. I can see there is room for both. I wish the world cup was longer though, a real world cup. It wouldn't be that difficult to incorporate crankworx into the world cup. They already have an excellent setup and that would give us ten rounds plus one extra continent. The UCI should just announce that Crankworx points count for the overall. I guess the problem is, the UCI wants a lot of money to sanction races. Brian Cookson said he wants to get up to ten. This would get us there in one!
  • 2 0
 Whatever, I think professional American football players are much better role models and grounded people than Loic. I mean sh!t, he didn't say anything about strippers and blow, wtf kind of "athlete" is he?

So yeah, what a wonderful young man, on and off the track. Big ups to his family and friends, as they've helped produce a supremely talented racer and even better person. Viva le Loic!
  • 4 0
 "all the riders I liked weren't big mouths or di*kheads. Even though I like Cedric a lot." Big Grin
  • 2 0
 because cedric is easy going and funny, and is not a dickhead or a big mouth
  • 1 0
 A class act from a talented athlete. Young guns should take notes how to apreciate your past teammates, rivals, team, mechanic, and manager. A very professional athlete and a humble one, all in one package. Keep Growing Loic.
  • 5 0
 genuine as.
  • 6 2
 Brilliant. Until the Guns n Roses bit.
  • 3 1
 what's wrong with GnR?
  • 1 0
 it is not French
  • 2 0
 Baguette and cheese ?
  • 3 0
 Thats his music preference.. You cant force him to like Oasis, Spice Girls or One Direction.... Welcome to the jungle is good track on a knarly track!
  • 2 0
 Top level racing, academics, humble and self aware.. You do the sport proud, Loic. Congratulations and to much more success in the coming years for you.
  • 1 0
 This guy has his head screwed on. I've always liked him as a racer and a personality but he's now cemented himself as a real GC in my eyes. Young kids coming into any sport should take notes from this interview.
  • 3 0
 Smooth dude from the sound of things Smile Gratz
  • 4 0
 Absolute top lad.
  • 2 0
 The fact that there's not one negative comment on this pinkbike thread speaks volumes. Total legend of the sport!
  • 1 0
 Yeah as an American and a gwin Homer I still really like Loic. He is hard not to and he definitely will push gwin next year if not the other way around.
  • 2 2
 Alright, I'm now COMPLETELY lost!
I thought AG won the World Championship.
How is it that Bruni is considered 'World Champ' just for winning the one race after the season had ended?
  • 1 0
 AG won the World Cup series by accumulating the greatest number of points at World Cup races. I don't know the official name of the award, but I've seen it called "World Cup overall title" and possibly "World Cup Champion," but it will always have "Cup" in there somewhere. World Champs, or "Worlds," is a separate, one race event and the winner is called the "World Champion" and wears the rainbow stripped jersey for a year.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe most national champions are determined in a similar manner, even in those countries that have a national race series. The winner of the National Championship race is the national champ no matter who wins the national series. I don't follow enough other sports to think of a good parallel, but I think motocross and many other motorsports are similar.
  • 1 0
 One of the cool things about Worlds is that each country can send representatives (I don't know the specifics of the selection criteria) and they actually get to race, unlike in World Cup races where only the top (80?) qualifiers get to race in the final. So at Worlds you get like 80 additional riders who may never qualify (nor have the money and support) for a World Cup race, some from countries I forgot even existed, and they get to race in a high-profile, international event, rub elbows with the world's best, and have a shot at being the World Champ. Pretty cool.
  • 2 0
 I was in Andorra. And for the first time in my life ,I cry when I heart "la Marseillaise". Merci Loic
  • 1 0
 And please do an interview with Martin Maes PB. I'd like to know whats inside of their head of all this shiny young athletes.
  • 4 1
 Bravo Loïc !
  • 2 1
 It was so boring to see him second each time, I almost cried when he finally won Smile
  • 1 0
 It shows his consistency to come in second (and be in the podium) most of the time. I think we will be seeing him more on the top step next year. Great guy Loic Bruni!
  • 1 0
 Such an inspiration, with an attitude of a true champion! Congrats again Bruni!
  • 1 0
 Though he's without the domination in his rookie years, Loic has always reminded me of Marc Marquez
  • 2 0
 Well, Loic is just about the coolest motherfucker in sports.
  • 3 0
 So, Lolo eh?
  • 1 0
 Sick interview, amazing photos and great outlook from Loic on moving on mentally from both victory and loss - class act!
  • 2 0
 dear diary, today I learned that Loïc is written with two dots in the "i"
  • 1 0
 Refreshing attitude and balanced personality will take him far in life.
  • 1 1
 The world needs more young guys like Loic, Troy, Finn, Loris etc Congrats to a great World Champ.
  • 1 0
 Laissez bon temps roullez! pardon mon Francaise.
  • 4 0
 Ups!!! :-) Pas grave; merci mec!... et putain de GRAND BRAVO à Loïc!!!!!! :-D
(... and BTW a special "f*ck Off" to ALL french main medias (except MTB press) who didn't say a single word about his victory. Such a shame; incredible but true. These "journalists" are much more into giving news about shabby doped road pussies than about such a great champion like Loïc. -100000000000 to those "medias". to conclude and in my language: Allez vous faire foutre!!!!!!!)
  • 1 0
 Seems like an amazing person. Congrats Loic!
  • 1 0
 What about blenki being team mates?
  • 1 0
 Keep it up Loic! We love watching close races.
  • 1 0
 WHAT A PODIUM.
  • 1 0
 Economics! Good major.
  • 1 1
 Loic must make his parents VERY proud. What an incredible kid.
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