Loeb and Everts stage a showdown between Champions
In another thrilling operation organised by Red Bull, Sebastien Loeb and Stefan Everts went head-to-head today on the infamous ‘Mur de Grammont’ in Belgium, just one week before the epic Tour of Flanders bicycle race is due to pass over it.

Under conditions that were typical of the area (rain and just seven degrees Centigrade) Sebastien Loeb (a five-time World Rally Champion) and his Citroen C4 WRC went up against Stefan Everts (a ten-time Motocross Champion) and his KTM MX.

This occasion marked the first time that a car was allowed to drive over the 800-metre Mur de Grammont. During the Tour of Flanders, which takes place every year at the beginning of April, only bikes are allowed to ride over the cobbles, with a diversion put in place for the following support cars. But for this momentous duel between Sebastien Loeb and Stefan Everts organised by Red Bull, the local authorities made a rare exception and allowed the title-winning Citroen C4 WRC to drive on the road.

After two test runs, where the times were kept secret, the final duel went the way of the bike rider. Having been beaten by just a tenth of a second, Sebastien Loeb’s forfeit was to clean his rival’s bike after the competition.

« It was a fantastic experience, » said the five-time World Rally Champion. « Red Bull came up with a great idea when they suggested this duel to us, and I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to meet Stefan. He’s a truly magnificent champion, and his 10 world titles are an exceptional record of achievement. Of course I would have preferred to have won our duel, but it was a very close contest! I had the upper hand on certain parts of ‘The Wall’ but I lost time in other places. At the end, it was too close to call. »

Throughout the contest, Sebastien was co-driven by television presenter Michel Wuyts, who will commentate on his 18th Tour of Flanders next week for the Belgian channel VRT. « Riding with Sebastien was a real privilege, » he said. « I must admit that I was feeling quite tense sat beside him before we set off. But just a minute before we got going, I saw that Sebastien was still on the phone. His obvious relaxation reassured me. »

The winner of the showdown between Champions, Stefan Everts, had the satisfaction of watching Sebastien Loeb clean his motorbike after the finish. « I hope I’m the only person to beat Sebastien this year – or at least I wish that for him! » said Everts. « It was a real honour for me to meet him. I’ve got a deep respect and admiration for rally drivers. I just tried to ride very cleanly in order to gain the maximum time possible and win. »

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