Dani Sordo vs Andreu Lacondeguy
© Paulo Maria

Watch MTB downhill rider Andreu Lacondeguy take on WRC star Dani Sordo

A WRC driver versus a downhill mountain biker? It doesn't sound like much of a contest. But watch Fast Encounter and you'll be surprised how close the two are, as they race down the Lousã in Portugal.
Written by Chris Parkin
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Daniel Sordo

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Rally · 3 min
Fast Encounter
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What happens when two off-roading aces from different sports face off against one another? Just to make things interesting, one is a World Rally Championship star, powered by the 300-plus bhp of a Hyundai Motorsport rally car, while the other is on a downhill mountain bike. It’s a no-brainer, right? There’s surely only one winner.
Spanish freeride mountain biker Andreu Lacondeguy didn’t think so. That’s why he challenged his WRC-driving compatriot Dani Sordo to such a contest, a filmed man-versus-machine race down the parallel rally and mountain bike tracks of the Lousã hill, in the heart of Portugal.
The world-renowned Lousã, part of the Louzanpark, once featured in the WRC’s Rally Portugal in the ’80s and ’90s and still hosts rally races every year, while the downhill mountain bike track is a favourite training run for stars including Gee and Rachel Atherton, Marcelo Gutiérrez and Lacondeguy himself.
A photo of WRC driver Dani Sordo jumping over downhill MTB star Andreu Lacondeguy in the film Fast Encounter.
Dani Sordo going above and beyond in Fast Encounter
But never have the two tracks been used simultaneously before. Not until Fast Encounter.
Sordo’s descent is very different to Lacondeguy’s. The rally ace takes the longer, scenic route down Lousã, kicking up gravel, dust and leaves. Lacondeguy, meanwhile, takes a more direct route to the finish bell down a track he helped construct, featuring nerve-shredding jumps and a 15-metre gap in the road for Sordo to leap.
There are plenty of surprises in store, as the two cross paths more than once, with Sordo showing off his immense handling skills and Lacondeguy going hell for leather. The power and noise of Sordo’s car is in stark contrast to the almost serene flight of Lacondeguy through the Lousã woodland.
A photo of WRC driver Dani Sordo and mountain bike star Andreu Lacondeguy at the Fast Encounter finish line
Dani Sordo and Andreu Lacondeguy at the Fast Encounter finish line
“Dani was just insane in the car,” said Lacondeguy after filming. “The first shot we did he had to turn on this gnarly corner, all gravelly, and I couldn’t believe it; the guy just nailed the turn.”
Filmed in collaboration with Hyundai in the run up to the Rally De España (25-28 October) and Red Bull Rampage (October 26), the logistics of producing such an epic race threw up their own problems. 
The film, called Fast Encounter, required fire and safety people, different camera crews, and precision planning. Capturing the speed of two of rally and downhill mountain biking’s finest was never going to be easy.
“When you’re working with guys like this, who are so quick, keeping up with them and trying to film them as they’re going is a real challenge,” explains Fast Encounter director Oisin Tymon. But meet the challenge he did.
After their epic challenge, Lacondeguy summed up the film, and his and Sordo’s experience. “That was crazy. Super sick.”
A photo of WRC driver Dani Sordi and freeride mountain bike rider Andreu Lacondeguy setting off down the Lousã hill, leaving behind dramatic plumes of dust.
Dani Sordi and Andreu Lacondeguy set off down the Lousã hill
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Daniel Sordo

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