Is it quicker to travel by four wheels or two? Common sense suggests it would be no contest between the 300-plus bhp Hyundai Motorsport rally car and a downhill mountain bike. But a duel between Dani Sordo in his World Rally Championship car and Spanish freerider Andreu Lacondeguy proved it was anything but.
The pair took on the novel challenge titled Fast Encounter on Lousã hill in the heart of Portugal, Sordo on a rally track, Lacondeguy on a neighbouring bike track.
Their courses overlapped, car jumping over cyclist and vice versa as the fast-travelling pair cut through a stunning green vista meandering through windmills dotting the landscape.
Lousã once had a place on the WRC calendar back in the 1980s and 1990s while this particular bike track is a favourite of the Atherton siblings, Dan, Gee and Rachel, as well as Lacondeguy himself.
On four wheels, the descent is a more scenic route, kicking up gravel, dust and leaves along the way while Lacondeguy’s path to the finish bell is a tad more direct, thereby evening up the seeming no contest.
Two wheels or four? Sordo takes on Lacondeguy
Of the head to head, Lacondeguy said: “Dani was just insane in the car. The first shot we did he had to turn on this gnarly corner, all gravelly, and I couldn’t believe it. The guy just nailed the turn.”
As for Sordo’s take, he said: “He is incredible what he does. I think we can see both sides with the WRC car and him going downhill really fast. I am impressed with him, what he is doing is unbelievable. It is always nice to see him doing jumps and crazy downhills.”
And as for the winner? Sordo, but barely.