Miranda Factory Team racers, Gonçalo Bandeira and Tiago Ladeira, are the new national downhill champs for the cadet and junior categories respectively. This was a consecutive win for Bandeira, who will wear the national champion’s jersey for another year. While Vasco Bica continues to recover from a wrist injury, which took him out of the hunt for a national title, Jose (Zé) Manuel Borges took up the fight in the elite category and managed second plac
Not only did Bandeira take home the category win but he also notched third place in the general classification. His result now targets him as “one to watch” in remaining races this season.
“Words cannot describe such happiness,” Bandeira said. “It’s my second year, my second jersey, and my second win in the Portuguese cup. I’ve had good results with the Miranda Factory Team and I know that many more lie ahead in the iXS Downhill Series and World Cup races.”
Ladeira’s record time of 2:53 awarded him not only the win but showed how much he’d improved over last year’s fifth place in the national championships.
“I’m very happy to win another jersey, this time as national champion,” Ladeira said. “Training has gone well and, with the support of the whole team, the conditions were more than enough to score a good result.”
In the elite category, Borges surprised first place, Emanuel Pombo ((Cycle Madeira Clube Desportivo), by finishing second. Borges said that the goal was to help Gonçalo and Tiago by passing on some of his experience so that they could win the much-desired national champion’s jersey.
“I believe my role was well-played,” Borges said, “On a personal level I only intended to train, have fun, and spend some time with longtime friends. I knew it would be complicated to take home the jersey because I was racing on an enduro bike.”
On the final descent, Borges had a clean run to finish the day in second place, just five seconds off the top of the podium.
The National Champions’ jersey competition is unique to the national calendar and was organized by the Portuguese Cycling Federation and the Municipality of Pampilhosa da Serra, with the support of the Pampilhosa da Serra Volunteer Firefighters.
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