E Bike Vs Road Bike: Which Is Faster Down The Col De La Madone? | Nico Vouilloz Vs GCN’s Dan Lloyd


– It is a location made famous by the pre-Tour trial rides
of Lance Armstrong, but there is a darker, more savage side to the Col de la Madone, and that is the off-road
route, down to Menton. So today, I’m joined by GCN’s Dan Lloyd, to take on that very challenge. – And I’m looking forward to it. I’m obviously gonna stick to the road, whilst you head off road. – But, today, Dan, seeing as you carved me up
on the hill-climb challenge. Bloody hell. Holy (bleep), are you
actually cycling that pace? That is way quicker than I thought. Dan, oh my god! (upbeat rock music) (record scratch) Oh my god. (bleep) (cork popping) – Oh! (laughs) (champagne spraying) Yes! – I brought in a local to
help me out with this one. Ten-times World Downhill
Champion, Nicolas Vouilloz. (fast, intense rock music) – [Host] Both riders are
dropping almost 1,000 meters, off the top of the famous Col, into the Mediterranean town of Menton. Dan has the longer distance, and slightly shallower gradient, however, the road corners
being of a higher speed, and smoother service, compared
to Nico’s tight switchbacks, rock gardens, and with
relentless steps to navigate down the mountain. (slow accordion music) – [Dan] So you’ve never
wheelied on an e-bike? – [Nico] A bit, but I never
tried to do a real one. Like, look, it’s! – [Dan] You used to be my hero! (slow accordion music) – [Nico] So I need to be
focused, ah, you beat me! – [Dan] Yes! (laughter) – [Dan] Despite a win in an
unofficial wheelie competition, I wasn’t feeling particularly
confident against Nico, going downhill. And for good reason. Nico is a ten-time downhill
mountain bike World Champion, a feat he’d achieved by the age of 26, at which point he retired, to begin his second career,
as a rally car driver. He’s even raced down this
exact descent in a car. So, the odds aren’t really in my favor. – So we have, on the inside lane, a former Tour de France
machine, Dan Lloyd. And on the left-hand
lane, five-times World Cup downhill champion, Nicolas Vouilloz. Guys, how are you feeling? – Ready to kick ass. – I’m not feeling particularly confident, for some strange reason.
I’m not a bad descender, but I’m not a ten-time
World Champion descender. But, we’re gonna be on
the road, aren’t we, at the start,
– Yep. – That’s my advantage,
because that thing’s restricted to 25kph, and
I’m going to be going, obviously, 60-70kph– – Do not underestimate,
this guy is an athlete. I know he’s got super-tacky
tires, with low pressure. But what’s your average speed going to be, going down that road, Dan? – I don’t know, I’m obviously
going to need to be careful, because it might have vehicles on it. But I don’t know, 50? 50kph, I reckon. – I can imagine Nico is not
going to be hanging around. (fast, dramatic, drum music) – Good luck, mate. – Good luck, stay safe. – You too. – It’s dangerous at this end, not sure if you know it too well. – Okay guys, you ready? (counting down in French) Go! – [Dan] Oh, Christ. (fast dramatic music) He’s gone! – [Host] Off the start, and for the top quarter of the descent, Nico and Dan go head-to-head
on the tarmac road, for no particular reason in
mind, just for the hell of it. High pressure skinny road, vs. low pressure sticky downhill tires, and considerable weight differences. Nico was in fighting mood. (fast dramatic music) (slower music) Now, this is the Lapierre
Overvolt that Nico is racing Dan Lloyd on, down the hill. It’s a size medium, and Nico is 1.76m. Now, the Overvolt has got a
180mm travel fork up front, and a 160mm travel on the rear. Wheel size, 27.5, and as you can see, he’s got some Michelin 2.4
super-tacky downhill tires on this bike. Now, in terms of the drive train, Nico’s got a 51:10 cassette on the back, it’s a Shimano XTR derailleur,
and 160mm travel cranks. Now, obviously a key part
of this bike is the motor, so there’s a Shimano E8000 motor in there, with Lapierre’s own custom
snake tube technology battery, which is located just
in the down tube, there. It’s an all-aluminum chassis,
with carbon handlebars, 200mm discs there, Shimano XTR, four pots. And Nico is clipped in. (“Cadaver” by Sebastian Forslund) Nico had pushed as hard as
he could on his heavy bike, and, on a road he had raced WRC cars on, struggled to keep lightweight
Dan in his sights. And it was Dan who had
pulled out an advantage, by the time Nico hit the
first off-road cut-through. Time, then, for the man
who won the first-ever World Cup downhill race,
only a few miles from here, to turn on the magic. (brakes squealing) Vouilloz was absolutely
hauling, but still, Dan held on to the slight
advantage at split two. But by split three,
there was nothing in it. Dan Lloyd’s weapon of
choice for his descent off the Col de la Madone
is a Trek Emonda SLR. Now, this frame size is
58, and Dan is 6’2”. So let’s look at some of
the details on this bike. First up, the gearing. On the rear, he’s running 28:11 cassette, and up front, a 50:34
chain ring combination. A full Dura-Ace DI2 gearing on the bike. In terms of the discs,
he’s running Dura’s discs, with 160mm rotors. Few other details: 144 stem, and the wheel set is a Vision Metron SL40, with Continental tires,
pumped to up about 50 PSI, because of the varying road
conditions on the descent. – [Dan] And those varying road conditions became even more varied,
as rain began to fall, on the lower slopes. Now, I don’t like losing, but I also don’t like crashing. And these corners were
beginning to get very slippery. (fast rock music) – [Host] At the penultimate split, Nico had reeled Lloyd in,
but ahead of the Frenchman lay the tightest, most
technical terrain of the hill. To keep this advantage
required Lapierre man to engage full commitment race mode. Precision riding, and reading a track which he had never ridden down before. Heads up riding at its best. Nico in full flow. (fast electronic music) (slow electronic music) – You speak French now! (replies in French) It was a good battle, uh? – It was good for you, I’ve lost. How long have you been here? – One and a half minutes? – Minutes, glad you said minutes! (Nico laughs) – That was so much fun
at the top, and then– – What, the rain? – You overtook me, and
then it started raining. Not that I’m one to make
excuses, especially against you. – Yeah, I knew the rain
would play for me, with you. – I’m just so nervous on the roads– – Tiny tires.
– When it starts to rain. But, yeah, that was a lot of fun. How were the trails? – It was dry. – Haha, yeah.
– Under the trees. – I don’t believe you. Long enough to have some
chewing gum in your mouth. Great.
– Yeah. – Well, I hope you enjoyed
that as much as I did. – I had fun, yeah. – And thanks again. – I like the challenge, so it was good. – Yeah, I can see how competitive you are. I wish I’d have won that. I so wish I’d have won that. Anyway, we also did a climbing challenge, against Steve on an e-mountain bike, if you’d like to watch that one, you can find it down here.