What happens when you take one Olympic gold medal winning canoeist, a World Champion downhill mountain biker, and the beautiful (if a little damp) Welsh countryside?
Obviously, you get a bike vs. canoe race.
The canoeist in question is Tim Baillie, who paddled his way to Gold in the Canoe Slalom event at London 2012 with his partner Etienne Stott. He’s also a self-confessed mountain biker and a keen follower of the Downhill World Cup scene.
Which brings us nicely to the mountain biker in question. Rachel Atherton, who has dominated the 2013 UCI DH World Cup races, and is the reigning World Champion.
When I got the call from Tim to see if I wanted to race him in a canoe down a river, I was a little dubious.
Pitted head to head – or canoe to bike to be more accurate – the plan was as follows; Tim would take to the water at Canolfan Tryweryn, and Rachel would ride the riverside trail. The first person to the finish point, a bridge downstream, would be the winner. Simple!
To add a little more interest, Rachel and Tim suggested a forfeit. If Rachel won, she’d get Tim’s gold medal, and if Tim won, he’d get Rachel’s bike and World Champs jersey.
So who was crowned victor? You’ll have to watch if you want to find out.
This video is part of the Mercedes Vito Sport Adventure Series, charting the adventures and escapades of action sports athletes in a range of settings and scenarios. The Athertons have featured in the series already, taking on the might of Snowdon with bags of skill and a side helping of style.