Loic Bruni & Tahnée Seagrave Win at Maribor
Loic Bruni & Tahnée Seagrave Win at Maribor
The Fox MTB team got off to a great start at the UCI Downhill World Cup season opener in Maribor, Slovenia. The weather, however, was seasonably unpredictable. Downpours during Saturday's qualifiers were followed by sunshine on Sunday. The mixed conditions caught more than a few elite riders during the race. This made runs during the morning practice session crucial as riders finalized tire choice and made other preparations. The Fox DH team had ups and downs throughout the weekend, but victories for both Loic and Tahnée ended race day on a high note.
Loic Bruni Wins the Men’s Elite Downhill
Winning back-to-back races - for the first time in his career - was a much better start to the season. “Compared to last year, it’s a big improvement," Loic explained. "I was a little bit looking for redemption. I did my best and attacked a lot. I was super loose, and I was on the limit, and I’m happy I rode like that because I think that was the only way to do it... Solid first race with the new bike - let’s hope it’s the start of a good year!” The defending World Champ heads to next month’s race in Fort William with both the Rainbow Stripes and WC leaders vest. It's the first time he's held both honors!
Tahnée Seagrave Wins the Women’s Elite Downhill
Tahnée spent two weeks in Maribor preparing for the World Cup opener. Though things were up and down during that time, the practice paid off on race day. She blitzed the course and ended up with the victory. A very happy Tahnée stated later, “It took a lot of hard work, so I’m pretty stoked to start the season off with a win!" A training injury in December shortened her early season training, but she worked hard in the months and weeks leading up to the race which showed in her confidence during her run. “I knew it was a good run, I knew where I needed to get the work done so when I came in and I did it how I want to, I kinda knew it was a good run,” said Tahnée after the race. She heads to her home race in June with the World Cup leader's vest for the first time. No doubt her home fans will be going crazy in Ft. Bill!
Laurie Greenland Take Ninth Place in the Men’s Elite Downhill
Laurie G rode a fast and calculated race to take ninth place. Laurie has been steadily progressing in the last two seasons. Starting this year with a top ten finish is another great step in his progression as an elite rider. He was thrilled with the great performance to start the season. “I’m stoked because I gave it my all today," he stated. "Good, tight racing! P9 to round up the weekend and 8th in points!" After Maribor, Laurie heads to his home race in the UK with confidence and momentum.
Finn Iles Takes 52nd in the Men’s Elite Downhill
Finn had a great weekend going in Maribor before a mistake ended his chance at a podium. While leading by a fraction of a second, a tiny error on an off camber root section washed out his front wheel. He rebounded quickly and finished the race with blistering times on the lower segments. The crash landed him in 52nd place. His disappointment was visible but his post-race comments showed he has the mental fortitude to overcome this hurdle. “This weekend, we had a really good process; the race run didn’t go how we wanted it to but I think the process just needs to stay the same and I just need to stay a little bit more focused on what I’m doing when I’m racing and just tone it down a little bit," he explained. "The speed is there and the focus is there, I think I need to go slow to go fast. It’s all a learning process because I’m still nineteen. I just need to be a bit slower and have a few good results and get my confidence and be good in the overall, then I can really push it because as much as I want to win, I need to have good results to back it up. I just need to continue on and it will work out - seven more chances.” Finn and the Specialized Gravity team head to chance number two in Fort William next month.
Loris Vergier Takes 58th in the Men’s Elite Downhill
Much like Finn, a great start took a turn for the worse for Loris on Sunday. A solid fifth position in qualifying had him confident for race day and his run started well as he was only six-tenths off the lead heading into the third timed segment. Things went sideways quickly both literally and figuratively as he washed his back tire and clipped a tree. The spectacular crash was scary to watch but thanks in part to his new RPC helmet he popped up quickly and finished the course - setting some of the fastest times on the lower segments. “It was the first race of the season so it’s always a tricky one," he said. "I felt good, no pressure on, I was just trying to ride well and I ended up doing a mistake on the corner that I should have not approached as fast, it’s my mistake but it happens. The new helmet works good, I crashed hard and I feel like I have nothing wrong pretty much and the MVRS (Magnetic Visor Release System) is good. Let’s focus on the rest of the season!” His 58th place finish means he’ll need to do some work over the next couple of races to get back into contention for the overall title, but with his speed and confidence, he’ll be back competing for a podium quickly.
After a fantastic start to the season in Maribor, the Fox MTB DH team has some time to rest and recover before the training starts again for UCI Downhill World Cup race number two in legendary Fort William, UK. One of the most iconic races in the history of Downhill, Fort Bill is a coveted race, a win there can make a riders year or even their career. Watch as these athletes compete during the rest of the season in the all-new Rampage Pro Carbon and Defend and Flexair gear which was made for their ride!Read More