Video: Loic Bruni has Another World Cup Podium... in XC Eliminator

Nov 16, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  
Bruni races his quarter-final at 44:36 and his semi-final at 57:51

Loic Bruni earned his 28th World Cup podium this weekend except this time it wasn't in downhill but in XC Eliminator.

The XCE discipline was added to the World Cup circuit in 2012 and it runs like a 4X race crossed with an XC Short Track race. It's a sprint format with four riders charging round short laps of a generally paved circuit with some obstacles thrown in for good measure. The top two riders advance each heat until you get a final race for the top four positions. XCE used to be run alongside the XCO races at World Cup weekends but it became a separate series in 2017 and was replaced in 2018 by the current Short Track format we have now.


This weekend's race in Barcelona was the 2020 series finale (after the proposed final round in Abu Dhabi was cancelled) and Loic Bruni was in the area so decided to participate. He was the only rider in a peaked helmet and was wearing a Red Bull t-shirt as opposed to the full XC race kit of most of the rest of the competitors but still managed to qualify third fastest and then worked his way through the rounds to the final. Bruni says he ended up with 'no more gas' in the final and ended up rolling home in fourth.


bigquotesGuess who raced a World Cup this weekend!? XC Eliminator for a change. This wasn’t planned at all but as I only had my XC bike here and I was curious to try it out. Turns out that it’s good fun! I ended up in finals with no more gas in the tank and got smashed, guys are pretty strong beasts! Still a World Cup podium though. Downhill training almost fits this discipline.

Thanks to XC Eliminator for having us. I left all my stuff in the Team truck so that’s why I don’t have a RedBull helmet, I have the T-shirt. Photos: @marcrius_fotosport
Loic Bruni

Full results, here.

Regions in Article
Barcelona


129 Comments

  • 333 3
 2020 is weird
  • 34 1
 Loic: Why are all of these riders on the course at the same time as me? I thought it was the race run and not practice runs.
  • 4 1
 Yeah I was going to post pretty much this. What a weird race?
  • 4 0
 Too bad the jumps weren't longer so Bruni could make up more time.
  • 21 2
 Finally! Someone who doesn't xc race in spandex!
  • 4 1
 @AsherJacoby:
AMEN BROTHER!!!!
  • 2 0
 @AsherJacoby: Actually Marco Aurelio Fontana was on that years ago.
  • 2 0
 @AsherJacoby: Manuel Fumic doesn't wear them either...
  • 188 0
 I guess this shows the level of fitness the pointy end of the DH field has
  • 14 0
 these people are machines!
  • 48 0
 It's funny, I grew up watching DH and it reminded of a community softball league. Dude would be swiggin' beers all the time and just having good times. Now they're elite level athletes who take this shit very seriously.
  • 14 1
 @FuriousGeorge: ...and still keep swiggin' beers
  • 11 1
 I race every year in a beer league DH. Many beers are swung.
  • 7 0
 @powderhoundbrr: I race beer league DH. I pay for an international-level coach, own 8 downhill bikes, bought a lift to practice race runs and finish worse than you.
  • 3 0
 @WE-NEED-MORE-ROOST: LLLOOOOOLLL!!!!!
  • 3 0
 @FuriousGeorge: Apparently Rob Warner quit racing because the training was getting too serious...

I do wonder if Steve Pete is the last of the old school DH riders who also knew how to party
  • 5 0
 @korev: Brendog seems to be carrying the flame just fine
  • 5 0
 @korev: my Dad who lives in Andorra told me stories about Greg Minnaar totally wasted and there is a lot of videos where you can see guys like Amaury Pierron pretty drunk too...
  • 2 0
 @FuriousGeorge: Phil Atwill's standing there at the after-party shouting "Guys? GUYS?!"
  • 146 2
 Is it bad that I really want to see a cross between this and 4x. Some horrific hybrid involving bigger features and jumps plus a lung busting climb back to the top for lap 2?

Or am I just a complete sadomasochist who wants to watch people suffer for my entertainment???
  • 41 2
 Definitely a sadist.
  • 5 1
 Its only real if they cry- seems to be what the masses think. ( nice how i turned that look into my dark innerself into a comment about how bad people are these days).

That aside i there is some real potential if you put in stairgaps and stuff, i would watch something like that. The actual format is kinda pointless.
  • 8 38
flag nojzilla (Nov 16, 2020 at 4:14) (Below Threshold)
 Yes, it's bad. 4X is 4X an xce is fucking dog shit
  • 8 0
 Definitely not alone. I would love to see some serious features in xce. Preferably ones they can't just dismount for.
  • 12 3
 pretty much sums up cyclocross
  • 4 1
 Presumably there will be enough spineboards for every competitor? Just in case nobody clears the big features on lap 2.
  • 6 14
flag hamncheez (Nov 16, 2020 at 6:57) (Below Threshold)
 EBIKES! 4 cross, but laps and you have to pedal back up a super technical climb!
  • 1 3
 @hamncheez: E-dj-bikes???
  • 3 0
 We quite did it 13 year ago: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmMP350gEzk
  • 11 0
 [Cam Mccaul has entered the chat]
  • 6 0
 @hamncheez: I enjoy motocross, but I think he was talking about people suffering on the climbs.
  • 2 0
 @JSTootell: it was a joke, everyone. Sarcasm never goes over well on pb.
  • 4 1
 @werts: any genre of cycling where getting off the bike is normalized will never cut it in my eyes...
  • 2 0
 wack a reverb axs into a dj bike and you're good to go
  • 3 0
 We joked about this at our new local jump trail this summer.

We ended up calling it "slopeduro cross"
  • 2 0
 just did a ebike short course race like that. i wore baggies and kneepads. got smoked by a XC bro who knows what "vo2 max" means lol
  • 114 1
 Doesn't make sense - the internet told me he was only fast at Lousa because he pushed a button. So how many buttons must this one have had?!
  • 5 3
 underrated comment
  • 3 0
 He just pushed the Super Bruni button before the start... needed the unicorns and rainbows out the ass for the whole race this time.
  • 83 2
 Looks kinda fun, but seems to suffer from the 4x problem of the gate/holeshoot being the deciding factor of the race. Maybe some branching paths and slightly longer rounds would help?

Yes, I am proposing changes to a format which I have watched a sum total of 2minutes of in my life, but hey, this is pinkbike right?
  • 30 0
 Pick an XC discipline and be a dick about it..?
  • 14 0
 In the semi finals Loic left the gates as fourth, gained a spot at the descent of the stairs and then outsprinted the then #2 in the runup to the ascent of the stairs.
  • 19 0
 @Ronkol: Nice, I knew I should have watched 4minutes before commenting!
  • 47 0
 I like how he scrubs the box at 46:14
  • 8 0
 i think that thumbnail is the reason most people clicked the link?
  • 2 0
 @OllyR: Yessir
  • 3 0
 style and a water bottle. sweet
  • 37 1
 commentator: "the track has it all" lol
  • 15 0
 I love when athletes try other disciples. It would be even cooler if there was a multi discipline event where all the top guys show up.
  • 6 0
 Like an all stars event, low stakes friendly competition. Stretch it over a week before Rampage digging at the end of the season.
  • 3 0
 Endurostyle Country. Race to the top and then race back down on a jump line - style points count. Spec bikes with 120mm of travel F/R, riders can choose their own suspension/tire pressure adjustments.
  • 26 1
 That's a great idea!! It could be some sort of festival almost? Like they could race downhill, dual slalom, pump track, xc, etc?

They'd really Crank out the events! It'd be cool to see something like that in the Works.
  • 3 0
 @bonkmasterflex: Very interesting, like something that could run in a series, perhaps in the summer . .
  • 2 0
 Would be cool to have some sort of "Race of Champions" in the off season. A long weekend with a short CX, XC, Enduro, and DH. Racer with the most overall talent wins.
  • 2 1
 @jwizzler: yeah! Great idea! Just thinking about smart name for it... Crankworx?
  • 15 0
 And that took over 4x W T F.
  • 5 0
 Hard to believe to be honest....
  • 12 2
 He's the Nino Schurter of DH. Nino destroys XC and does road gaps for fun while Bruni destroys DH and wins XC eliminators for fun
  • 7 11
flag Muckal (Nov 16, 2020 at 4:05) (Below Threshold)
 Did Nino win a WC level race recently?
  • 9 2
 Also, Bruni didn’t win the eliminator.
  • 2 2
 @Samuel-L-Jackson: he did win in his discipline iirc.
  • 12 1
 I've only clicked to check if it wasn't an april fool !
  • 11 0
 Fair play for reppin’ the baggies!
  • 3 1
 My thoughts exactly. Your comment wins
  • 5 0
 To be fair to the format this race looks real gnarly in terms of nervousness and could easily be replicated in most cities across the world.
  • 5 0
 Tbh that looks quite fun. A bit of urban dh mixed with some pedalling and xc climbing. That’s probably the only “xc” race I’d watch on tv!
  • 6 0
 I wonder if Loic lost a bet with his girlfriend (Malene Deng) and had to race.
  • 3 0
 Loic shows up, having done no XC-specific training at all, wearing baggy shorts and riding a downcountry bike. The madman even finds time to do a whip on one of the jumps during the quarter finlas. And he got fourth place. Thats hilarious!
  • 6 0
 That lil' whip at 46:12 "I'm the Captain now"
  • 4 0
 So the question has been answered, you can take a WC DH racer, put them in an XC race, and they are able to podium. Let's see the reverse.
  • 13 4
 Nino Schurter: "hold my beer"
  • 7 1
 Highly doubtful. I'm not surprised by Loic here but would be floored to see a XC person sniff a podium in a WC DH race. I think the DH mental/fear aspect is an ENTIRELY different animal that the XC crowd doesn't have to even consider in a race. Those pro DH guys are literally rolling the dice with their life at least once in a race to podium. That's a whole different thing I'm guessing.
  • 3 0
 I wouldn’t be surprised if Yolanda Neff gave it a try.
  • 4 0
 @Svinyard: a WC XCO racer catching a sniff of a podium at a WC DH is no more or less likely than a WC DH racer standing on the podium at a WC XCO event. Neither is going to happen. Not even close. XCE isn't XCO. XCE is its own little weird event that probably does offer more crossover opportunities between MTB disciplines, if that's what the UCI was aiming for.
  • 5 0
 that looks fun and horribly physical at the same time
  • 3 0
 Looks like a fun course. I wish more American amateur events were short, fast, and obstacle filled. The 3-5 hour endurance format that's popular here is so boring.
  • 5 0
 This just in, racer enjoys racing of any kind.
  • 2 0
 Dudes a monster, unbelievable he has the legs to compete with those guys at that level. On a side note - that type of racing looks like fun - would love to try it someday (at the local weekend warrior level).
  • 2 0
 That was my thought. This looks like an XC race I could get into.
  • 3 0
 When I thought it was strange XC lockout technology was making its way to DH... the truth was the DH rider was making his way over to XC.
  • 1 0
 This is actually quite entertaining nice and short and actually interesting. but there definitely has to be more obstacles in the future. like a long pump-track roller section and maybe some jumps. Stuff like that would make more opportunities to pass. the end should also be a straight away.
  • 4 0
 It is great to see riders crossing between gravity/SC genres.
  • 3 0
 Again.
  • 2 0
 It looks like some dystopia where all the countryside is built over and this is what is left it's strange what a difference a crowd makes
  • 3 0
 Now i wonder what Minaar can do
  • 7 0
 backflips
  • 1 0
 I’m 99% sure Greg has a UCI World Champs Bronze medal from 4x in like 2001 or 2002
  • 1 0
 I saw Minaar at a BMX track back when he was with Global Racing. Seriously fast and skilled.
  • 1 0
 @optimumnotmaximum: pull the lycra out of his ass on the jumps?
  • 3 0
 Imagine if van der poel raced this
  • 2 0
 I don't really want to watch it all.. unless you tell me there a pass on that wall ride...then.... Big Grin
  • 3 0
 Was Bruni even trying? He looks so composed on the bike.
  • 1 0
 So amazing. Love the attitude to just try something new and see how it goes - and do pretty damn well haha. It’s inspiring in such an uninspiring time. Cheers Loic!!
  • 3 0
 Legend!
  • 3 1
 Can't say I'm surprised. The legs on the guy!..
  • 3 0
 what a geeza!
  • 4 0
 backdoor pleaser!
  • 3 0
 @mb23: fridge freezer!
  • 5 3
 4X, pretty fkng awesome xce, fkng circus side show Don't make a comparison
  • 1 0
 Prepping for next season? Building up cardio for possible back 2 back or extended race weeks? Anyways, go Loic!
  • 2 1
 Well, good on him but as a spectator I would be watching the snow melt or the grass grow.
  • 2 0
 Didn't Brian Lopes win one of these a few years back?
  • 1 0
 I had to look it up but damn, yeah! On a hardtail with a 1x and a dropper post in 2012...
  • 1 0
 He's obviously a world class athlete but... XCE is like the least XCish discipline of all XCs out there.
  • 2 0
 I hardly recognize him in a half-shell helmet.
  • 6 4
 Just race 4x
  • 2 0
 LOL.
  • 1 0
 It wasnt allowed to clear that stairs step-up or what :-D
  • 1 0
 Would be great if all the DH guys raced each other.
  • 2 1
 I was hoping to see him gap the stair set on the last lap Smile
  • 1 0
 Damn! Gotta get Minaar in that mix!
  • 1 0
 show em XC boys how its done Wink
  • 1 0
 why is he not using the redbull helmet if he is a pro in cycling
  • 1 0
 Bruni vs Lopes is next...
  • 1 1
 He doesn't have RedBull halfshell helmet?
  • 7 0
 Explained in the text above.
  • 1 2
 Wait, shouldn't they be on road bikes...
  • 2 4
 He is still running 26
  • 5 0
 I'm certain that he's on a 29" Epic Evo
  • 1 3
 Joke AF
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