The French Wolfpack: Bruni, Pierron & Vergier's Rise to the Top - Les Gets World Cup DH 2019

Jul 12, 2019
by Nathan Hughes  




They're the three best friends that anybody ever had... call it a wolfpack. The Three Musketeers perhaps, that's a French one. The squad name may still be undecided, but no matter, this is a trio of true friends dominating the bike racing scene at the highest level. Since Aaron Gwin took the first round of 2018 in Losinj, only Martin Maes has interrupted the winning spree of these exceptional fellow countrymen.

Sportsmanship like this is rare to see. Far from being the usual 'frenemies' we are accustomed to in sporting circles in the public eye, Loic Bruni, Loris Vergier and Amaury Pierron seem to take genuine pleasure in each other's success; true friends sharing the highs and lows of performing together between the tape. With all three riders in the top 5 of the World Cup overall, and now in the French motherland for Round 5, the Wolfpack are forced to turn the competition level of the brotherhood up a notch higher. Pinkbike now delves in the dynamics of the bond to find out its origins, explores its dynamics and tries to find out 'where to' next.




- Loris Vergier-



bigquotesBasically Loic's dad and my dad used to compete together, so already by about 4 and 6 years old we were hanging out with each other. From building mini motocross tracks together for our toys, digging little jumps and making the moto noises. We had our first 16 inch bikes, then 20… we’ve always been together, growing up and racing. It started as XC, which Loic hated, but actually I was enjoying it because at that age you don’t train. I was pretty good; I was winning those little regional things. It started there and we kept riding together until eventually we were riding downhill at the World Cup together. Then last week we are first and second in Andorra.Loris Vergier


bigquotesIn the early days, Loic wanted to go to Lapierre because his idol, Blenki, was there and I was keen too because he was like a big brother to me. I had some different offers to go somewhere else, but I thought it was the right choice to be with my friend. They were the best growing up days ever; it was like going to school with your friend and not even thinking about the racing too much. I was stoked to see Loic win in Andorra. Looking up to him so long, I just felt stoked. When Amaury he got his first win before me, but I was like, ‘you deserve it dude’ in Fort William. Then the next time was like ‘woah you’re fast now and then the third time like ‘f*k off I want to beat you now!’ We love each other I guess, it’s a friendship and we all want to go fast. We have our ups and downs and we all need to celebrate when one of us has a good one.Loris


bigquotesSometimes Loic and me will ride motocross together at home. But you know Amaury is not riding ‘motocross’; he’s riding super hard, steep enduro stuff that I would never go up! I’m like super easy, jumps and ‘woooo’… going to Italy and having good food, no struggling… he’s like ‘beast mode’ on stuff. So we don’t go with him haha. We all hang out still, but we have different planning and different stuff to do so it’s not often.Loris


bigquotesIt’s a tough one - riding together at races. Not about line choice, because we talk about it and actually we help each other with that - asking where we go here or there. At the World Cup though you focus on your riding and how fast you can go. It gets tricky when you follow someone, because then you need to do a lap in front to repay it, so it’s just something we never do. I feel the higher you go in the sport, the less you ride with other people because it’s you against the clock and not you and someone else. You don’t tend to see the top riders out on track riding with their buddies… I think because you manage your time with your mechanic - one guy could take 20 minutes and the other guy 10 seconds so it’s always a problem. I wish we could go up on the lift together and hang out a lot more.Loris


bigquotesRacing in France you feel how it’s more tense before, and then on the run it’s going to be a lot louder because you are in France. It’s more important to us obviously, but it’s about how you are feeling good on track. It’s a plus that it’s on home soil... Here it’s like us against the world. The Frenchies have won every race since the beginning of the season… not me, but still! For the overall I feel like I crashed twice in the four races we’ve had so I don’t have my chance because everyone has been consistent and fast. I think Loic and Troy are the guys. If one of them did f*k up there would still be one to beat, so it’s gonna be tough for Danny or Amaury to fight for that.Loris




- Loic Bruni -




bigquotesWhen Loris won his first race it was just beautiful to see. I was not on pace that day so I was kind of a spectator. That was last year in Andorra. I knew he was going to win; the way he was riding was unreal and I think I had barely seen him ride like that before. It was beautiful and just like nothing could happen to him. When he crossed the line I was super happy. You never know when someone will win, but I had a good feeling and when Luca Shaw crossed the line I was like ‘woah’ this little kid won. I was really proud because I felt that he struggled for it and deserved it a lot. We didn’t have an easy learning process, crashing a lot and having mechanicals. It wasn’t like juniors to elite, winning races in one year. Amaury was different because in one year he started to get some podiums and the year after he was already winning so it was a faster way to the top for him. But it was the same; I was amazed and proud to be his friend. Proud to be sharing some stuff. And he told me he learned a lot from me, so I was happy to think maybe I played a small part in his preparation.Loic Bruni



bigquotesAmaury and me ride together a little bit. We know we can help each other so, for example, Maribor we went for a bike park ride in the afternoon. Loris and I though, we don’t ride at all together anymore. Even though we’re still really good friends. He does his thing for the training and I do mine and I don’t live close to him anymore. When we see each other it’s more off the bike moments. We kind of ‘broke up’ on training. Even though we would still love to ride together we don’t do it naturally. It’s weird.Loic


bigquotesIn the past Amaury had a really different approach to what I had; a little bit less pro you could say, but he was a really fast guy just very chilled. The French coach was giving him a really hard time because he wasn’t following the path of the typical French racer.... not as serious as the average Frenchie you could say. Even though none of us are super serious we do try to do things a little bit pro at the races and Loris too when he was coming up. Amaury just didn’t give a f*ck back then at all. Although the coach is a great guy he believes there’s only one way and that wasn’t the approach Amaury believed in, so it was cool to see Amaury win a WC in juniors even though he wasn’t listening to what people were saying.Loic Bruni



bigquotesI just can’t tell you who will win the overall, man; we are halfway through and I’ve never been going so well situation-wise, but I can’t say if I’m going to win… I will tell you the last day of the season because it’s never going to be safe to say. For sure I can, for sure Troy can, Amaury, Loris and Danny also can come back from 4th place. We have to be smart and consistent, the season is still pretty long. And that’s what Troy is pretty good at so I will hope to keep surfing that cool wave without winning everything, but at least being more consistent than in past years. We’ll see man!Loic




- Amaury Pierron -



bigquotesI met Loic in Hafjell at the World Champs. I was a little kid just in the big house there with everyone on the French team…. those big guys like Remi and Loic and it was just my second year junior. I was impressed just to see these guys from the inside perspective a bit. I was surprised and happy to see Loic was taking a bit of time for everybody, asking if you’re good and you know… coming from your idol, when he asks if you’re good it’s like ‘whaaaat?’. It’s hard to talk to them, but he was so nice and he’s still like this. I knew Loris a bit better because we raced together, since the first year on the national team. I didn’t know him very well, having different teams, but then coming into elite we spent more and more time together.Amaury Pierron


bigquotesIn 2017 when I ended up 2nd in Val di Sole I was in front of Loic and I was like ‘Whaaat!? Whyyyy!? Keep my 2nd place and I’ll go 3rd!’ I didn’t ask for that and then last year winning was such a weird feeling but so good, it’s hard to explain. I was very happy to win, but at the same time asking how it’s possible. Haha! It was a big transition.Amaury


bigquotesLoris and Loic; we do send some messages and videos and whatever, but only really when we have a French Cup we can meet up and see everybody… find out who's in shape or not and stuff and it’s good times. I would really love if we could hang out and ride moto but they never want to… I think they’re afraid haha! No, I don’t know - we are all so busy; training and a lot of stuff to do. I am from the city of Brioude, which is about 6hrs away from where those guys live so it's not so near.Amaury


bigquotesI am really happy when I see Loris or Loic win. It’s a French win and I feel we are all connected together and we just have a good relationship. They are my friends and it’s a good battle you know? It’s not like cross country or motocross where bad things can happen between riders on the same track. We are just against the clock so that’s the best. We’re always happy, but this weekend in France I think Loic has won enough haha! So we’re gonna try to take it back. I’m gonna give everything and try to kick some ass!Amaury

New levels of savagery in the Vergier-Bruni-Pierron wolf-pack battle are to be expected next weekend on home soil.

bigquotesI think it’s going to be a more patriotic feeling this time in France. We're racing together on home ground and each of us have a shot at the win I think, from the past races. A good battle! Being in France it feel it’s like we’re on the same team because we all want a Frenchie to win, that would be really nice, but for sure there’s Troy and some guys from other countries who could make us a little bit mad and take a win. It’s going to be tight for sure!Loic Bruni



50 Comments

  • + 51
 Great article. It brings a smile to my face that these guys at the very top are still good mates. Doesn't matter what nationality, team or Energy drink sponsor they are all stoked for each other when someone is doing well. Everyone just loves to ride their bike, enjoying the fact they get to see the world and get paid to do what they love.

Compare this to AMA MX/SX where dudes literally hate their competitors and don't hide it either on their social media. Downhill is a breath of fresh air in this regard.
  • + 6
 Dude..... this is exactly why we race and ride downhill.. we are all bros.
  • + 0
 Moto is pretty dirty. Not even passes anymore so much as T-bone a competitor in the corner and hope he goes down
  • + 3
 Amaury gave the exact reason for the dh good times vibes - racing the clock and not head to head. No secrets, no surprises, no special saus. If the race format was like moto the vibe would also be much more like moto.
  • + 25
 French *frogpack :-P
  • + 3
 Zut alors! ca c'est bon!
  • - 2
 Isn’t the wolf pack a Spanish rape gang?
  • + 2
 The henhouse
  • + 1
 @jaame: I was thinking the same
  • + 0
 @jaame: sincerely curiosity or you really want to make jokes about it?
  • + 6
 Hello. How 'bout that ride in? I guess that's why they call it Sin City. You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack. But when my sister brought Doug home, I knew he was one of my own. And my wolf pack, it grew by one. So, there were two of us in the wolf pack. I was alone first in the pack, and then Doug joined in later. And six months ago, when Doug introduced me to you guys, I thought, "Wait a second, could it be?" And now I know for sure, I just added two more guys to my wolf pack. Four of us wolves, running around the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine. So tonight, I make a toast! [pulls out a pocket knife]
  • + 5
 Loris says he rides with Loic not Amaury, because Amaury is more towards enduro, Loic says he seldom ride with Loris but with Amaury, Amaury says Loic and Loris rarely ride with him because they are busy. Something is going on...
  • + 6
 Very talented and humble guys ! :-)

Here in France, nobody knows them except mountain bikers......... Perhaps will it change... Hope so ! We can see the runs on tv (l'équipe.tv, channel 21 in France).It is a good start.
  • + 4
 Yes, it`s a shame indeed that no mainstream french media talks about those champions. Not a single word.
They are so ignorant and conservative and prefer to talk about that stupid Tour de France which is, as Coluche said: ``a band of alcoholics watching a band of junkies``. He was so right!!!
  • + 9
 Du Fromage
  • + 1
 Don't forget the omelette.
  • + 1
 @IntoTheEverflow: Try the ``Tournedos Rossini``once if you have that chance. I call it the ``french burger``. This is absolutely divine Smile

Bon appetit!!!!
  • + 4
 That's awesome! Good to see such a tight knit crew still encouraging each other and getting along even though the environment of competition can be such a kettle for bad brew.
  • + 2
 GOOD LUCK TO THEM MET THEM AT THE PITS IN FORT WILLIAM AFTER THE RACE..THE LADS STOPPED WHAT THEY WHERE DOING FOR A COUPLE OF PHOTOS AND A CHAT WITH ME AND MY BUDDY GREAT TO SEE THEM DOING WELL
  • + 31
 WHY ARE YOU YELLING SO LOUD?
  • + 3
 @Alike Who would DV a remark like this? Dafuq isamatter with you? DV me!

I lurve Inspector Clouseau!!
  • + 1
 @Alke u post like Tanner Hall. Every single media post that guy does, all caps everytime!!
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: His microphone was off; that`s why Smile
  • + 5
 Did anyone else read this article in a French accent?
  • + 3
 Loris narrated the whole article in my head.
  • + 1
 Whenever I read stuff that pretty much any DH racer (that I know obvs) has said I hear their voice in my head. Even my wife gets that (she has no interest in MTB but really enjoys watching WC). Weird, don't get that with anything else I don't think.
  • + 0
 A really great article that’s speaks volumes about the French way of approaching bike racing even was rooting for his friend Reece Wilson when he had magic run at Fort William last year these are truly great sportsmen.

Loic should be riding a Commencal
  • + 5
 Burni the new Gwinner!
  • + 3
 Oooh... you just poked the bear.
  • + 0
 @mtbikemccoy: winning is winning but it's not quite the same when you're top competitors are out for injury.
  • + 2
 All absolute shredders and all seem really sound. Happy to see any of them win.
  • + 4
 Vive La France!!!
  • + 2
 Imagine if they come together in one team, holy smokes
  • + 4
 team sunn
  • + 1
 It’s not even possible to make the usual Frenchy jokes about them cos they’re all cool lads!
  • + 0
 I have a good joke about frenchies if you want. I heard it in Switzerland:
That`s a Swiss who says to another Swiss:
_ Oh man, I`m so poor at these times, I need to make some money.
_ Ah yeah? I have an idea: Buy a French!
_ But why?
_ Because you buy a French the price it costs and you resell him the price he estimates himself.
  • + 2
 Bastille day on the 14th...Time for another French revolution!
  • - 1
 Off with their heads!
  • + 3
 Vive la France!
  • + 2
 frenchies yeah !! !!
  • + 1
 Love these dudes and all absolute pinners
  • + 1
 "le trio" is sexy as f*ck!
  • + 2
 Such a good bromance
  • + 1
 Definitely, Amaury Pierron is my favorite rider right now!!!
  • + 1
 What phone is Loris using?
  • + 1
 It looks like a Red but I'm no tech expert!
  • + 2
 A big one
  • + 2
 Rad bunch! Good article
  • + 1
 Wholesome????
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