Ever wondered if the time you make up on the descents would be enough to give you enough head start on the climb back up to the top? Or are you a climbing god who’s merely average at descending. It’s always a fun challenge to think about – and if you could get two riders of similar talents, you could put it to the test.
Luckly, when you’re Madison Cycles, you can do it for real. There’s no worries about whether your downhiller is downhilly enough and your climber is good enough on the ups when they’re both frickin’ British National Champions at their disciplines…
And so, on a glorious blue sky day, Madison pitched Downhill MTB British Champ and Madison Saracen rider Matt Walker against Connor Swift, the current British Road Champion and Madison Genesis rider in a head to head to find out who is the best all-round racing cyclist in the country.
The plan was simple – both riders would get near-on identical bikes to race on and would take part in each other’s discipline. First a downhill run at Cwmcarn, with the winner’s time being given as a handicap to the other rider when the competition hit the tarmac.
Needless to day, Matt Walker is a pretty fiercesomely fit rider and he was pretty confident at putting himself against Connor Swift on the road bikes. Likewise, Connor doesn’t just ride road bikes all the time and he’d even scoped out the course in advance to give himself as much of a boost as he could against Matt, who recently stepped on to the podium on both of the first two DH World Cups of the season.
Both riders would be racing head to head down Ace of Spades at Cwmcarn for the first of the challenges. The following day, it was the turn of Connor Swift to try to wipe the smirk off Matt Walker’s face on the epic climb of Gospel Pass – Wales’ highest paved road.
And then the tables turned and Connor got to line Matt up against Gospel Pass… A good gate start isn’t necessarily going to help you here, Matt.
Who won? Are modern DH riders that strong these days that they can rival a road racer? Are road racers all-round skilled enough to descend quickly? You’ll have to watch to find out.