US downhill racer Aaron Gwin has enjoyed an incredible winning streak since moving from Yeti to Trek World Racing late last year, topping the podium at three out of 2011's first four UCI World Cup rounds, including this weekend in Canada.
Some of that success could be down to his race bike, the Trek Session 88 – which we checked out in the pits at Fort William. So Gwin's rivals must have been worried when he turned up at Mont-Sainte-Anne with a new prototype carbon fibre version, rumoured to be called the Session 9.9. And they were right to be – he went on to win the race.
At this stage, details are scant. Trek have sworn their mechanics to secrecy and the bike was hidden away for most of the weekend – we were lucky to spot it before qualifying and grab these shots. It's unclear whether the whole frame is made from Trek's OCLV carbon, or just the front triangle.
With an identical paintjob, the composite bike is difficult to tell apart from the standard alloy version, but once you get up close, areas like the seat/top tube junction give the game away. The main advantage of the carbon construction is likely to be weight; the standard bike weighed just over 37lb in Fort Bill trim, so we'd expect the new rig to come in closer to 35lb.
We'll bring you more on the Session 9.9, if that's really what's it's going to be called, as and when we get it – more information is due to be released by Trek on 15 July. Gwin's already at the top of his game, and this new bike can only help him stay there.