Looking back, it’s no real surprise that Gwin ended up where he did. Unhappy with Specialized offer, he needed up with a brand that prided themselves on doing things differently. He thought he was worth more than any racer for a decades, possibly ever. It turned out, he was right.
Similarly, YT were eager to put a cat among the pigeons. This was there chance to prove that the bike that was the recipient of so many media plaudits was a worthy contender on the World Cup circuit – the true test of any bike wanting to gain entry to downhill’s upper echelons.
And so, to Lourdes. A brutal, savage tack, but also one of the best tests of a machine on the World Cup circuit.With a new truck, team and set up, YT instantly marked their place in the pits. Some may see the blacked-out tent as foreboding but for YT, is was a signal of intent they were here for one result only.
Race day and Gwin claimed his place in the hotseat. All eyes turned to Bruni. Loose but fast. It wasn’t until the final section that Bruni cracked. A spill on an innocuous corner left his dreams of a first World Cup win floating away like the Pyrnennean dust. Down in the finish area Gwin rose from the hotseat. History was made.