The World Championships is a special time, the one time a year when riders swap team colors and instead fly national pride on their backs. Here, flags of the home country become more prevalent, and custom painted helmets and bikes celebrate culture and ancestry. Normal rules no longer apply. Part of the tradition is the bike build; a ritual almost always held the week of the big race, as if to keep the rider in suspense, but almost certainly to keep the bike clean before hitting the track for first practice.
There’s a special energy with these buildouts, with the mechanics applying the pinnacle of their care and attention to a bike that might only tackle a handful of downhill runs. Applying the perfect amount of grease where necessary (removing it in others), knowing the subtle difference a millimeter here or there can make, and jeweling it with anodized titanium bolts — this is their craft.
Combined with the art of the painters, you have a steed as unique as the rider who will hopefully be inspired by the extra boost of confidence such a bike can bring. Reece Wilson is the reigning World Champ, and while he won’t be carrying the rainbow stripes when the clock starts ticking, he has roughly four minutes to earn the right to put them back on. He’ll be racing aboard his custom white chroma Session that his mechanic Joe Krejbich and Trek Factory Racing have assembled. His build features a SRAM X01 DH drivetrain, SRAM Code RSC brakes with 220mm rotors front to back, and RockShox BlackBox suspension to tame the Val di Sole course.