Throwback Thursday: 4 Videos Featuring Mountain Bikers vs. Cars

Nov 22, 2018
by James Smurthwaite  
Pedal power vs horse power, the ultimate test of mountain biker and machine. Mountain biking may not get a great deal of mainstream attention but staging a race between cars and bikes seems to be a sure fire way to get knobbly tyres beamed into people’s living rooms.

We’ve found five golden examples of mountain bikers taking the pedal to the metal from years gone by.



Rob Warner on You Bet


In this gloriously silly video from 90s British TV quiz show You Bet, Rob Warner is given the unenviable task of racing a rally car on a largely fireroad course. It’s not a million miles from the notoriously long and pedally Kaprun course where Rob claimed a World Cup victory but will he be able to match the pace of pro rally driver Malcolm Wilson? The race starts at 4:32.



Gee Atherton on Top Gear


Top Gear is (was) an institution in British homes so Gee Atherton appearing alongside James May was a big deal. Gee races Captain Slow through the streets of Lisbon on a course not too dissimilar to the legendary Lisboa downhill.



Eric Porter and Brian Miller on Top Gear USA


Taking a cue from their cousins across the pond, the American Top Gear also pitched a race between mountain bikers and cars. This time Eric Porter and Brian Miller (both then on the Haro team) take on a hybrid Honda on the streets of San Francisco to see which is the fastest, eco-friendly vehicle.



Lacondeguy vs Sordo


Bringing us bang up to date is Andreu Lacondeguy’s recent edit with WRC driver Daniel Sordo. It’s by far the most slickly produced of the bunch but maybe don’t tip off the Speed Police about some of the clips!


BONUS: Gee Atherton vs David Knight

So this one might be two wheels and not four but given it’s a race between an engine and a pair of legs, we’re letting it in. Gee Atherton flies the flag for mountain bikers again as he takes on enduro moto legend David “Knighter” Knight on the Fort William World Cup track.


42 Comments

  • + 15
 Rob might have won it with SUPERBOOST wheels and a shorter offset fork!!!
  • + 8
 There is also one with Sam Hill vs. Alex Stone:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfGrakeZ5U0
  • + 1
 Some pretty ordinary video, Nannup DH looking good though! Not the greatest rally driving..
  • + 7
 Warner looking good, trying to decide who has the best hair out of him and Jet from Gladiators!
  • + 1
 I thought it was Jet! Takes me back to my teenage years!
  • + 3
 @EckNZ: Had to do a quick Google to see what she looks like now - She's aged better than Warner ;-)
  • + 5
 If Rob pedalled like that in world cups, he might of won a few more!
  • + 3
 Notice Warner starts on a Verlicchi Saracen for the Saracen Coors Team then the studio segment is on a Giant ATX990,...
  • + 1
 huh, the you bet segment was boring, a top gear UK episode i never saw (thought i'd seen them all), a top gear US segment (who cares?), so...lacondrguey for the win!
  • + 1
 I would add Steve Smith vs his mom. From "Season's" I think, where she shuttled him to the top and he'd race to the bottom for training.
  • + 2
 Rob totally needs to do his next interview wearing that spandex suit lol
  • + 1
 Still riding the same frame as Gee did on Top Gear over a decade ago, which continues to amaze me...
  • + 1
 What is it?
  • + 1
 @alexhyland: Mk 1 Giant Reign
  • + 1
 Got to have a bit of RatBoy cruising Maderia in an Alfa www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOUEIJf698I
  • + 1
 Fiat"
  • + 0
 "We’ve found five golden examples of mountain bikers taking the pedal to the metal from years gone by."

I only count 4.
  • + 1
 The last one is a link provided by clicking on the blue writing that says "this one" in the last paragraph.
  • + 1
 Andreu was so pinned!!!
  • + 0
 What have WRC cars become??... Makes me sad.
  • + 15
 Faster and scarier than they ever were, they just don't look as impressive as the Group B monsters did from a spectator point of view.
  • + 7
 @DaMilkyBarKid: yes, and they have a plastic shell that kind of looks like an i10, or a Clio, because thats what they are trying to get people to buy now, not imprezas or evos (or lancias or quattros if you are older than me)
  • + 4
 @DaMilkyBarKid: Certainly as a s[ectator Group B was way way better than what we have now. At least the cars bore a resemblance to something you could actually own,other than something hot off the STAR WARS set
  • + 4
 "Certainly as a spectator Group B was way way better than what we have now." Unless you happened to be standing on the outside of a fast corner and one of them hit you in the face.
Those Lancias, Quattros, 205 T16s, etc. were the stuff of dreams though.
  • + 2
 Considering where the sport was with just M sport and Citroen a few years ago, its vastly improved now. New 2017 Aero rules have shaken it up quite a bit.
  • + 2
 Just had the Wrc Oz stage in my town, 180kmh off road is balls out crazy, they are way faster than old group B cars were, but stupid they all look the same but have 'I20' or 'fiesta' written on them when there's about Zero in common
  • + 4
 They look like off road buggies now, no link back to a production car are they even still based on an original shell ? would take Mc rae back it into a hairpin in an impreza anyday
  • + 4
 The cool thing about WRC and Group B was the cars were real road cars - with a ton of prep. Now theses new cars are just shilloette racers with same power train. Yawn. Time to YouTube McRae vids...
  • + 2
 @BenPea: any rally spectator knows not to stand on the outside of a corner, just asking for a face full of gravel! But yes, I do get the reference you're alluding to. There was nothing excessively dangerous about the cars, it was the crowds.

As for the Group B cars? I have a friend of a friend who has a T16 and a Quattro, plus he competes in a 6R4! His cousin has a Delta S4!!
  • + 1
 @DaMilkyBarKid: that's a heck of a friend of a friend.

Aaaah... Lombard RAC on the telly. Mud on the headlights. Them were the days.
  • + 1
 Having been to WRC Catalunya for the last 2 years in a row I can confirm that, whilst not up to Group B standards, they are pretty bloody impressive and a damn sight better than they used to be.
  • + 1
 Over 350 hp ,1100 kg, better aerodynamics, active differentials. Much faster than Group B and i can confirm that 2018 cars sound amazing.
  • + 3
 @Mojo348: after standing on the side of rally stages and marshalling on them a few years later waiting in the freezing fog in Wales to hear the popping and banging of an Impreza engine 2 miles away and eagerly awaiting it's appearance to then have it disappear in seconds or even waiting for the historic rally's where you can literally identify a car by its sound such as the 6r4, the quattro the 037 hell even an escort is identifiable by sound. They're just silloutte Cars now. Manufacturers aren't allowed to sell of the back of Motorsport success and the throttling is killing any aspirational link to a desire to own a quick car that simply doesn't exist in road going form!
  • + 1
 @BenPea: The friend of a friend runs a garage that preps a lot of classic race cars, everything from 30's Bugattis to late 80's F1 cars. He gets to hear about special stuff for sale early so has quite a collection of different stuff! He's obsessed with Group B and Prototype Le Mans racers.
  • + 1
 @DaMilkyBarKid: Is it Chris Evans?
  • + 1
 @BenPea: No, just a normal bloke who lives normally (daily driver is a 12 year old Hilux) but likes cars. Works his ass off for them and usually buys them in poor state then recons them, not averse to selling some too. Unless you knew him you wouldn't know he had any of them, everyone assumes they're customer's cars!
  • + 1
 @DaMilkyBarKid: if he's got a pristine Delta Integrale lying about gathering dust, I'm open to proposals.
  • + 2
 @Andy-ap: it’s a shame. Same with Super tourings too. BTCC used to be so exciting. Racing was out there. Works Alfa’s vs Schnizer BMs. I remember getting my dad to take me to the local Alfa dealer to see the homolgation 155 with the wing in the boot that got them banned. (SZ on display was also something else). Now they are sillouttes too, couldn’t care less! Frown
  • + 1
 Where is Ludo May????
  • + 1
 Last time I saw him he was putting the heat on my ass in Finale, but that was a few months ago.
  • + 0
 Gee for the win!

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