Yesterday we saw Mark Cavendish speeding down the Isle of Man TT course, while today double-Olympian Ed Clancy tackles stage one of the Tour of Britain, racing downhill against a Skoda Octavia vRS.
The Olympic gold medallist rode a section of the famed Southern Borders Loop, which centres on a short, but brutally steep hill climb with five major corners. To even the odds, Clancy raced ‘downhill’ from a rolling start while the Octavia vRS set off from a standing start and raced uphill.
Obviously the road was closed, as it was in Cav’s IOM time trial, but in Clancy’s case the course was far shorter. Compared with the 7m32s required by the Manx Missile, Clancy needed just 52.26 seconds to complete the course.
Along the way he averaged more than 50mph, compared with the 40mph achieved by Cav on the Isle of Man.
Caught on camera in the accompanying short film, the Octavia vRS was pipped to the post as it powered up the B6399 between Hawick and Newcastleton.
“I love a challenge and knew that taking on the new Octavia vRS was going to be a tough test,” said Clancy.
“When I was told which section we’d be racing on and that I’d be going downhill from a rolling start, I knew I had a chance. The route is perfectly suited to cycling – whilst the car had to slow down to manouevre around the bends, I could pretty much straight-line most of the corners.”
After a disappointing start to this year’s Tour of Britain, Cavenish’s luck finally turned on today’s 188.4km Stage 4 route from Stoke-on-Trent to Llanberis. Cav finished head of Stage 1 winner Elia Viviani and Steele Von Hoff after the peloton swallowed up the breakaway group just 1km from the finish.