Photo Epic: Bruni and Dailly Back on Track in the Cradle of DH Racing

Aug 3, 2020
by Matt Wragg  



While many questions still hang heavy over the return of world-level racing this year, local racing scenes are starting to find their stride once more. The south of France is sacred ground for downhill racing. In the mountains above Nice champions are bred, in fact there are more DH World Championship titles from riders raised here than anywhere in the world (I make it 14 senior men's titles, at a rough count). What is maybe more impressive is the consistency - it's fair to say that no era of downhill racing has not had a rider from the region at the forefront. So if you want to try and take an educated guess at who the next up and coming sensation may be, it's a good bet to have a look at the emerging riders. Not to mention a certain Loic Bruni getting between the tapes for the first time since Snowshoe and Adrien Dailly switching codes with an eye to making up to the World Cup.

Welcome to Isola 2000 - the highest resort in the southern Alps.
Welcome to Isola 2000 - the highest resort in the southern Alps.

Not a bad spot to go racing right Just because it s not a World Cup doesn t mean it can t be a stunning location.
Not a bad spot to go racing, right? Just because it's not a World Cup doesn't mean it can't be a stunning location.

Byron Bisserier a full throttle in the opening turns.
Byron Bisserier full throttle in the opening turns.

Antonin Debesson getting up to speed on the open piste at the head of the course.
Antonin Debesson getting up to speed on the open piste at the head of the course.

Nicolas Morel tearing up the alpine meadow on the upper part of the course.
Nicolas Morel tearing up the alpine meadow on the upper part of the course.

Antoine Macagno hits the drop that marked the transition from meadow to tigher singletrack through the trees.
Antoine Macagno hits the drop that marked the transition from meadow to tigher singletrack through the trees.

EWS hopeful Julie Duvert taking the inside line.
EWS hopeful, Julie Duvert, taking the inside line.

Simon Chapelet couldn t quite match the pace of Dailly or Bruni but held it to within three seconds of Adrien s winning time.
Simon Chapelet couldn't quite match the pace of Dailly or Bruni, but held it to within three seconds of Adrien's winning time.

Tristan Belen kicking up dust amongst the trees.
Tristan Belen kicking up dust amongst the trees.

In France they call the trail builders shapeurs pronounced shay-pers . This is Damien the shapeur here in Isola making sure the track is ready for the race runs.
In France they call the trail builders "shapeurs" (pronounced 'shay-pers'). This is Damien the shapeur here in Isola making sure the track is ready for the race runs.

Chloe Gallean and Agnes Delest head up for their first race runs.
Chloe Gallean and Agnes Delest head up for their first race runs.

Raphael Giambi on his way to winning the minimes category - 13-14 years old category.
Raphael Giambi on his way to winning the minimes category -(13-14 years old) category.

Shhh don t tell the internet.
Shhh, don't tell the internet.

It may look odd doing bent-over rows with your race bike but as part of the Frejus club Jack Piercy is trained by Cecile and Cedric Ravanel and this is part of his pre-race warmup routine.
It may look odd doing bent-over rows with your race bike, but as part of the Frejus club Jack Piercy is trained by Cecile and Cedric Ravanel and this is part of his pre-race warmup routine.

Dropping out of the start gate.
Dropping out of the start gate.

Hugo Marini comfortably won the cadet category. Two years out from being eligible for junior world cup racing his style on the bike is impressive from a rider so young and he finished within 10 seconds of the winning time on 3.30 course.
Hugo Marini comfortably won the cadet category. Two years out from being eligible for junior World Cup racing, his style on the bike is impressive from a rider so young and he finished within 10 seconds of the winning time on 3.30 course.

Jack Piercy putting that warmup to good use - he took 3rd in the cadet class.
Jack Piercy putting that warmup to good use - he took 3rd in the cadet class.

Loic scrubbing the first big fly-off on the course. In his first run he was 1.78 up on Adrien Dailly but a slip on a wooden bridge on his second run saw Adrien pull ahead.
Loic scrubbing the first big fly-off on the course. In his first run he was 1.78 up on Adrien Dailly, but a slip on a wooden bridge on his second run saw Adrien pull ahead.

JP Bruni had a better day than his son taking home the win in the master 50 category.
JP Bruni had a better day than his son, taking home the win in the master 50 category.

Sylvain Troncale in the loose lower woods.
Sylvain Troncale in the loose lower woods.

Junior Alizes Lassus on her way to second on scratch in the womens race.
Junior, Alizes Lassus, on her way to second on scratch in the womens race.

Chloe Gallean on her way to third on the day.
Chloe Gallean on her way to third on the day.

Agnes Delest was head and shoulders clear of the womens field today to take a comfortable victory.
Agnes Delest was head and shoulders clear of the womens field today to take a comfortable victory.

Over...
Over...
...or around
...or around?

The look on this young racer s face as other riders explained the gap Bruni Dailly and Chapelet were hitting the lower woods was priceless. He looked to be in complete disbelief they could hit something that is both so big and technical.
The look on this young racer's face as other riders explained the gap Bruni, Dailly and Chapelet were hitting the lower woods was priceless. He looked to be in complete disbelief they could hit something that is both so big and technical.

Timai Conseille nosing it in where Bruni and Dailly were pulling hard.
Timai Conseille nosing it in where Bruni and Dailly were pulling hard.

This is Adriens Dailly s take on it. There was zero takeoff and less landing - Loic Bruni was going a step beyond this still and where Dailly was landing he was almost immediately pulling again to clear a second smaller but way more technical second gap.
Adrien Dailly pulling for the win. There was zero takeoff and less landing - he was almost immediately pulling again to clear a second, smaller but way more technical second gap. While nobody thinks the result is representative of how things would go down on a World Cup weekend, he surely has to take huge confidence from his race as any weekend when you finish ahead of Bruni is a good one.

Riders gather at the finish for the final reckoning of the day.
Riders gather at the finish for the final reckoning of the day.

Full results, here.


16 Comments

  • 8 0
 Ebike newb! Has the mullet and no helmet but he needs some jeans to complete the kit
  • 8 0
 That gaps impressive, got Friday fails written all over it!
  • 2 0
 no Friday fails for the gap as only three riders tried it... and succeed Wink
  • 5 0
 I'm so glad to see @mattwragg back in the races !!
  • 4 0
 Last photo - epic!
  • 3 0
 Daily first on an enduro bike?? Legend
  • 1 0
 Are we the only country to do 3 races on the same day? Big guns seem to avoid each other on national races
  • 2 0
 single crown for the win !
  • 1 0
 I'm pretty sure frenchie is offensive. Not to me, but I'm sure there's someone out there who's bored.
  • 1 0
 BRUNI?
  • 1 0
 What is Adrien's bike?
  • 4 0
 Lapierre Spicy - full bike check to follow shortly Wink
  • 2 4
 shh dont tell the internet? About a pro using a free ebike to shuttle back up? lmao...I think we can approve of that.
  • 1 1
 at first I thought they were talking about the fork... rumor has it ohlins is making a 38mm stanchion equipped fork.
  • 4 0
 @bhastey: rumor has it they're going to call it the Öhlins DH38 M.1
  • 1 0
 OMG he's not wearing a helmet! The Pantalons aren't colour matched to the bike either.

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