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Rob Warner likes riding cross-country. Honest. In fact, most downhillers - Peaty included - use cro

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Downhiller rides xc and contrariwise

Rob Warner likes riding cross-country. Honest.

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In fact, most downhillers – Peaty included – use cross-country bikes for training.

Still having trouble accepting it? OK, there’s an evolutionary process that explains it too. When racing was still in its embryonic stage, riders used to compete in both downhill and cross-country, often using the same bike for both disciplines. Gradually, as the bikes evolved and the courses changed, people chose one thing or the other, which brings us to where we are today, with two radically different events (and all the related mutations).

So what could two of today’s top riders gain from swapping bikes; trying out the other’s geometry, terrain, mental attitude and techniques? We know that most downhillers train on XC bikes, but do XC riders ever train on downhill bikes? Knowing of Warner’s dark secret we thought we’d pitch the idea at him, and once we’d told him lunch was on us, he was on. He also insisted on choosing his ‘opponent’.

“Make sure you get Bazza Clarke – I wanna see his face as he tries blatting down a 30mph descent!”

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Read the full story in this issue of MBUK, on sale now.