Cairns World Cup 2016: Loic Bruni Breaks his duck
Bruni, Atherton and Walker take the wins
Loic Bruni stormed to his first ever World Cup win in Cairns this morning with Troy Brosnan in second and Mick Hannah in third. The World Champion set down a time of 3:23.698 to take the win by half a second.
Photos: Seb Schieck
His main title contender Aaron Gwin finished fourth with Aussie Josh Button sneaking on to the podium with his best ever World Cup finish.
Cairns WOrld Cup 2016 - Junior Men's
With Lourdes winner Finn Iles out with an injury picked up in qualifying, we were pretty much guaranteed to see a new leader at the top of the junior standings. It was Matt Walker that admirably stepped up to the plate and grabbed his first World Cup victory in only his second race.
He beat some tough competition from Aussie locals Remy Morton and Harry Bush (yes, really) to take the win by .6 of a second.
It’s worth mentioning that Matt Walker is still only a first year junior, we could very probably be looking at a star of the future here.
Cairn's World Cup 2016 - Women’s
The women's field was always going to have a tough time overcoming Rachel Atherton’s huge advantage from qualifying but she once again proved herself to be in a league of her own as she cruised to a seven second win.
Manon Carpenter was unable to challenge Hannah’s time but the dream was short lived as Rachel, who looked visibly faster on the whole course, sprinted over the line to take a comfortable win.
Rachel now has a significant lead of 145 points in the overall standings over Tahnee Seagrave. Will anyone be able to even get close to her this season?
Cairns World Cup 2016 - Men’s
Josh Button was the first rider to set a significant time. The Aussie qualified in 15th and endured a long stay in the hot seat after laying down a 3.27.4. The track was running fast and this would have been enough to win qualifying yesterday.
Button saw off dozens of protected riders thanks to his strong lower half of the course before fourth placed qualifier, Loic Bruni, finally toppled him.
Button’s time was threatened by the likes of Fearon, Hart and Smith but it was the World Champion set the race into action when he put four seconds in to the time of Button.
Gwin was next down the hill but was never really able to challenge Bruni’s time. This only left the two Aussies, and crowd favourites, Mick Hannah and Troy Brosnan to round off the race.
Sick Mik was on the pedals for the whole course but for all his effort, and a final sprint that turned the Earth on its axis, he was not able to compete with the Frenchman. He got within a second and slotted into provisional second place.
Brosnan was the last man out of the gate and he and Bruni were neck and neck until the very final sprint but the diminutive Aussie did not have the power to compete with Brosnan and ended up losing more than half a second to finish second.
Bruni has been so close to snatching a win in the past and now he finally has the monkey off his back - even the partisan Aussie crowd were delighted for the young Frenchman.
Aaron Gwin is still leading the overall standings but it looks like we are set up for one hell of a title race this year.