As far as bike debuts go, it doesn't get any better than a win at the premier Enduro World Series event of the year. Maes took the overall victory here in Whistler, netting three second-places and two wins, including a 20-second winning margin over Eddie Masters on the final big stage from the top. He's clearly getting along with his new GT Force, a 27.5'' wheeled carbon bike (with an alloy rear end) that's a drastic departure - but much more conventional - from the brand's previous design.
Maes was rightfully occupied with celebrating his win when PB photographer Cameron Mackenzie shot his bike, but let's take a look at what we can spot.
The Force has 150mm of rear wheel travel, and Maes is using a Fox Float X2 to control it. Geometry is adjusted by a flip-chip at the lower shock mount that lets him choose between a 65 and 65.5-degree head angle - he went with the former during yesterday's race.
There's a Magic Mary up front that Maes often chooses, but he went for the Schwalbe's true spike tire, the Dirty Dan, out back. Both ends get the CushCore treatment, too. Maes' main competition for the overall turned out to be Richie Rude, but the Yeti rider was taken out by a puncture on the final stage of the day, underlining how an entire weekend can go down the tubes because of a simple but devastating mechanical.
The Belgian's Force is sporting a relatively conventional setup overall, with Shimano's previous XTR drivetrain rather than the new XTR 9100 group, and a set of aluminum Stan's Flow rims.