Video: Steve Peat & Nico Vouilloz Have 'Unfinished Business'

Dec 3, 2018
by SHIMANO  


Words & Photos: Shimano

Which two names come to mind when you think of the biggest downhill mountain biking rivalries? Barel vs Sam Hill? Gee vs Minaar? How about the most successful World Championship winner of all time vs a World Champion with two decades worth of wins, making him the mountain biking pro with the longest career of victories. For us there's no bigger rivalry than Steve Peat vs Nicolas Vouilloz.

You'd think they'd have put that all behind them after hanging up their wheels but if this latest video is anything to go by, their rivalry is still just as fierce.

Surprisingly though, Steve and Nico had never ridden together until they met on the French/Swiss border between Champery and Les Gets a few months ago. Both riders have unfinished business at these two historic venues so we thought we'd get them together to settle some scores, relive their failures and give them one more run down the tracks they couldn't quite crack as pros.

As you'll see, they haven't lost one iota of their riding ability, and with 11 World Champion titles and 29 World Cup wins combined, their competitiveness also hasn't diminished.

Unfinished Business.

Unfinished Business.

Unfinished Business.
Unfinished Business.

Unfinished Business.

Unfinished Business.

Unfinished Business.
Unfinished Business.

Unfinished Business.
Unfinished Business.

Unfinished Business.

Unfinished Business.

Unfinished Business.

For us growing up these guys were huge inspirations. It's awesome to see the two biggest rivals of MTB still riding, having a ton of fun on their bikes and sharing some stories about the good old days. Long live these legends!


119 Comments

  • + 96
 Clicking link thinking “please don’t be on e-bikes, please don’t be on e-bikes, please don’t be on e-bikes...”
  • + 0
 yeah, it's getting dark around some guys..like Nico Quéré, such a shame. But not with those two champs!
  • + 4
 First thing I did was expand the photo of the two of them saddled on their steeds. Nothing but French and English legpower, thank god.
  • - 1
 same!
  • - 7
flag krankin (Dec 1, 2018 at 18:57) (Below Threshold)
 its all about having fun bud, and e-bikes are pretty fun just as fun if not more fun depending on the trail you're riding
  • + 37
 @krankin: Mountain biking IS fun, but it’s “about” more than fun. There’s an ethic that goes along with it - and underlying set of principles and values that makes it meaningful. Granted, that’s a little different for everyone, but e-bikes on the trails are an abomination to many of our ethics and so we don’t wish to see our heroes using them.
  • - 2
 have you seen the new Lapierre ebikes for 2019? ~36lbs and you can remove the battery and motor and itll be a normal bike. I want one. and im the biggest hater of e-bikes
  • + 3
 @sdrides: same thing people said about disc brakes 20 years ago. The ethics of riding mountainbikes have to be understood by the riders, not matter what kind of bike they're riding.
Anyway i'm also happy they didn't put Peaty on an eBike...
  • + 3
 @Mocope: there is a slight difference though, the disc brakes never changed the philisophy of the sport itself, just a logic improvement for a better, funnier (and safer) ride . Putting a motor on a bike is another business: bike + motor = motorbike.
  • + 9
 Nico does ride Ebikes. I saw a vid the other day... Who cares!
  • + 1
 Santa Cruz don't sell one... Yet.
  • + 3
 Nico does ride eBikes indeed, since 4 or 5 years now, the first time was to recover from an injury. He worked with Lapierre to design some of their best models and won a few races in France. And he is, among many others, a strong believer ! Fabien Barel also worked with Canyon to design their Spectral:ON by the way.

So, as said above, who cares ?
  • + 0
 @dejah: I would say, based on the vast majority of commentors, that ,most come here for mountain bike content, not e-bike/motorized/psedo-motorcycle content. While there may be a place for e-bikes - my 74 y.o. father has one - that is not what the site is. There are e-bike sites aplenty.
My concern is when the very gray area of e-bikes causes issues with trail access, because motorized vehicles are prohibited, and well, they all look the same so lets be on the side of caution and band all mountain bikes, then I'm going to care a whole F'ing lot...
  • + 1
 @ReformedRoadie: move to CT. We passed a law this summer that e-bikes of all classes are only legal on trails that specify that they are legal. That would be zero that I know of. Over 100 trail systems in the state.
  • + 2
 @sdrides: you sound like a liberal who wears lycra on strava braap, i guess some of the "heroes" out there are lying when they say e-bikes are fun, and dont say because theyre paid to say that kinda stuff. you close minded biznatches. give it a try and let me know.
  • + 3
 @ReformedRoadie: Ok. But the french and european legislation does consider approved eBikes (25 km/h assisted speed limit, 250W and no throtle) as "non-motorized" vehicles. So you don't need insurance, reg. plate and so on. A reason why their are spreading so fast. And from my experience, until now, they didn't cause any issue regarding trail access and/or damages.
  • + 5
 @dejah: it is amazing the hypocrisy of the modern mountain biker in their arguments against e-bikes. Pretty much a copy and paste of the Sierra Club's mantra against all mountain bikes on all trails. Pathetic really.
  • + 1
 @dejah: Hi mate, You're right, E.bike don't cause more damage than regular MTB. But...
But, they allow far more people to cause far more damages....
I personnaly don't get why motorized bikes are considered as "non-motorized" in France. Actually I didn't get most of the french legislation, so...but that's another story.
We keep in touch.
Eric
  • + 1
 @dejah: Probably as a means of getting cars off the roads in exchange for e-bikes of the commuter type?
  • + 1
 @ET06: Well, they don't consider eBikes as "non-motorized" par se, but included into the "bicycle" family. I guess the idea of the lawmaker is those vehicles are just pedal-assisted, (very) reasonably speed limited, and no throttleable. And yes, it is also a way to make people leave their car and adopt this commuting tool.
Regarding the increasing number of people on tracks question, ebike or not ebike, this is a natural tendancy that must be managed globaly. By the way I see many bikers quitting car shuttles habits when going "e" ;-)
  • + 30
 3:33 is a small taste of why Nico was the best - head floats smoothly down the trail while his body absorbs everything. Any race footage will show him smooth out monster rock gardens etc. Sure, everyone does it, but not to the extent of Nico's perfection. Only Sam came close.
  • + 18
 Kids, watch closely.
  • + 5
 Great observation, I've always loved how Sam's bike did his bidding while everyone else looked like they were strapped to angry bulls.
  • + 3
 Adults, middle aged and older riders, watch closely.
  • + 25
 20 years later.... I was 4 when this was going down! Wish someone would´ve started me into mtb then haha Sick video though, everyone in mtb should know about these two guys.
  • + 1
 Ha I was much much older. But the bikes sucked back then. So im glad I got into mtb later in life. Now if a good time to ride.
  • + 10
 @mcozzy: No they didn't, they suck now, but back then they were the pinnacle of cycling technology and they f*cking ruled!... Smile
  • + 15
 @mcozzy: Bikes have never sucked, every one I've bought since 87 has been better than the one it replaced , but they've all been epic.
  • + 2
 I was there in 2002 when Steve won......
  • + 3
 They're aging like fine wine
  • + 3
 @mcozzy: rubbish I’ve still got my Sunn Duall + that was the top end Sunn bike at the time that Nico was riding and it still looks fantastic today
  • + 1
 @Sion1888: No need to acquire skills as its made easy for you...the youth of today tut tut tut...
  • + 15
 Excellent collab! Nico is definitely under rated when it comes to his accomplishments. Great to see Peaty still having a great time on a bike.
Nico x Peaty x Gracia x Palmer x Shandro as a Legacy race at the next Crankworx in Whistler anyone? Smile
  • + 10
 Actually, he is not underrated in France, where he is still considered as the GOAT. Smile
  • + 1
 This would actually be alltime epic! What´s with Cedric? Been awfully quiet lately.
  • + 5
 @stefanfresh: Cedric has posted 4 videos to his youtube channel just this week.
  • + 3
 @stefanfresh: Looking at his instagram it looks like he doesn't stop for a second: working on his house, a lot of activities with sponsors, riding bikes around the world,... I'd say he is doing fantastic!
  • + 4
 Under rated? He was ages ahead of everyone else during the era of biggest expansion and evolution of the sport.

Only Sam Hill came slightly close to that years after he retired
  • + 2
 Maybe it´s cause I dont use instagram haha. Thanks, will check it out.
  • + 1
 @cool3: it is not about being considered the Goat, he just still is for now nobody yet matched his titles but more recent riders don't know their DH racing history and outside of France it is easier to get all excited about whichever half decent english speaking rider.
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: Well, that's pretty much the same (highest number of titles (WC + World Championships wins = GOAT). BTW, I'm French (but been living in Canada for 34 years). Smile
  • + 14
 11 world championships between them?

That's kinda like saying Leicester City and Real Madrid have 34 league titles combined.
  • + 3
 Ha, that’s what I was thinking!
  • + 16
 This is one of the reasons I love MTB. Great vibe. Well done Shimano.
  • + 7
 I think that I got to watch this rivalry as it happened BITD makes this vid just a little bit more special. No big burly stuff (except for Peaty’s big huck after the credits) but I think this vid has made me smile more than any other in 2018.
  • + 9
 I’ve always been a massive fan of Peaty, and his longevity has been incredible, but in my mind there’s no doubting that Nico is the greatest of all time.
  • + 1
 Peaty & Nico are among the greatest ever but Greg Minnaar is GOAT .. & he is not done yet.
  • + 3
 @Darknut: depends how you define it really, 10 world champs titles seals it for me. Turning it on when it really matters.
  • + 2
 Greg Minaar is Cal Ripken. Impressive, but greatness is more qualitative than quantitative. Dominance trumps longevity.
  • + 2
 @Darknut: does Greg has 10 Wolrd champs and 7 overalls ? Don't think so ...
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: Vive la Nico!
  • + 5
 Peaty and Nico are still some of the best riders in the world. The way they ride for fun now, is better than 99% of the anyone riding MTB at any level. Bet they could still get top 50 on the DH worlds today. Wish I had half their ability.
  • + 7
 More like 99.99%
  • + 4
 I’ve been lucky enough to meet both these dudes and watch them ride in person many times . And see this is just rad and hilarious. Both outright legends , pushed the limits of our sport and created the dh racing we have now .

Cheers boys
  • + 7
 Close ups of their bikes?
  • + 5
 From when plumber peaty rode a rigid Kona he’s been a class act , and the frenchy of course . lovely stuff!!
  • + 1
 When Peaty rode for Kona, Vouilloz was starting to win on his S-Bike.
  • + 6
 That was Awesome. 2 Legends having fun.
  • + 6
 Dear ALL mtb marketing departements take note. This its how its done.
  • + 5
 Well shit! If these two can make up , anything is possible!
  • + 2
 trump xi and Putin, Maybot, Gilf hunter Micron and mad Merkel - take note!!!
  • + 5
 More vids of the legends please!!
  • + 1
 This year it's been 20 years since I met up with Downhill when I watched a world cup rundown on ESPN em 1998. In the USA race in Snowqualmine Pass and it was too the first time I saw Steve Peat racing and winning the race. I recorded on my the old VHS and watched it countless times. Thanks for this, Steve and Nico
  • + 4
 best edit i've seen in a long while. moar, plz.
  • + 1
 This shit only happens in mountain biking. It's pretty awesome to see two fierce competitors rip it up as friends. Nico tossing the rock out of the way for Peaty was inspired.
  • + 2
 Zimmer Bikes are the next craze if it helps us ride like these two gents in our old age!!
  • + 3
 Nico is levitating in that first picture, cheating bastard!!
  • + 2
 Good to see These guys riding together having fun after such a rivalry all those years ago!
  • + 3
 Deadly! Where was Palmer?
  • + 26
 Probably under arrest somewhere.
  • + 2
 @metaam: any news on Palmer? Reapered and disappeared. MIA
  • + 10
 @Golden-G: He's a grumpy old turd,good riddance!
  • + 1
 @Golden-G: Last I heard he was auditioning for the doctor's role in the remake of Cannonball Run.
  • + 1
 @Golden-G:

I saw Palmer’s name in the results of Day in the Dirt the other week...
  • + 1
 Come on Steve, Where's the mighty beard???
Great Video, can't believe that these two legends had this fun ride just now, how many video's we could have had...
  • + 1
 I've been introduced to mtb years after their fight, but I know this story by heart. Been looking "wont back down" so many times .... Could'nt expect this to hapen...
  • + 2
 Great to see those two legends having a great time together on those epic trails ! thx Shimano!
  • + 1
 Gallina vieja hace buen caldo. As we say in Spanish: "old hen still makes good soup"

These two are amazing!
  • + 2
 New XTR lineup looks great Big Grin
  • + 1
 I love this video and these two guys! As a kid I was in awe of them and watching this, I still am. Memories.
  • + 1
 Peaty’s Products are the ish loam foam, degreaser, sealant and chain lube
  • + 2
 Even if it wasnt a pair of friggin goats.... that was a proper good edit.
  • + 3
 2019 Spicy?
  • + 1
 two ov the best bad ass legends in downhill raceing and what a great vid nice one guys Smile
  • + 2
 That view at 4.28, stunning!
  • + 2
 That went epic pretty fast.
  • + 1
 F*k¡ng Legends, Thanks to Shimano´s marketing Budget. BTW Peaty still throws styling whips nice done
  • + 2
 Now we need Anne Caroline Chausson riding with Missy !
  • + 2
 #Legends
  • + 0
 Nicolas Vouilloz should stop riding bike and getting the bike ready for production!
  • + 1
 Anyone catch who the sponsor is?
  • + 1
 Probably the best shimano vid ever.
  • + 1
 Ha ha ha!! "Ok Steve, now that's safe!" Good level in derision.
  • + 1
 Just wish this video was longer :-)
  • + 2
 THAT was fun!
  • + 1
 King hubs belong on syndicate bikes
  • + 2
 what an awkward acting..
  • + 1
 So LP finally dumped their frame designer?
  • + 1
 So rad! Would love to see them do more together!!
  • + 1
 Great stuff from two absolute legendary dudes.
  • + 2
 That was awesome
  • + 1
 Best bikepack video every!
  • + 1
 Funny how no one pointed out the new Lapierre that Nico is riding.
  • + 1
 Epic lol
  • + 1
 So freakin good!
  • + 1
 So rad!
  • + 1
 That was pure gold.
  • + 1
 No greater rivalry.
  • + 0
 Brings a tear to my eyes watching these to Shredders...dare I say Old Smile
  • + 1
 That unibrow......
  • + 1
 No 29’er? How come?...
  • + 1
 Well done!
  • + 1
 Peaty is still stylish.
  • + 1
 Ciao Leggende!
  • + 0
 VOD!!!!!
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