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They say that the World Champion’s Rainbow Jersey is cursed and that any racer who wears it normally has a poor season – look no further than Manon Carpenter’s difficult 2015 for an example.

It seems that Bruni is avoiding this curse by simply not wearing it altogether as he took his first win at Crankworx Rotorua in his standard One Industries kit. As the race is not sanctioned by the UCI he’s under no obligation to wear it but the fact he didn’t makes us wonder if he really is worried by the curse.

One way or another it didn’t slow him down and he cruised to the win by 2.43 seconds over second placed George Brannigan with Brook MacDonald in third place 3.19 seconds back. Considering the track was only two an a half minutes long, that’s a pretty impressive margin. In the women’s race, Jill Kintner took the top spot by almost five seconds over Tracey Hannah.

The Specialized Gravity Republic is taking a scientific approach to the 2016 season. They have already taken advantage of the Specialized wind tunnel and Bruni was spotted using suspension telemetry systems at Rotorua. It will be interesting to see whether these marginal gains pay off in the World Cup season.