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Junior racer makes his mark on European DH racing

ABETONE, Italy — In only his second race in Europe (aside from his native Portugal) Miranda Factory Team phenom, Gonçalo Bandeira, dropped the competition in the third round of the iXS European Downhill Cup. Bandeira went to Italy after coming off a national title win two weeks earlier and, in an effort to sustain the momentum, he arrived in Abetone to win.

“I felt good and the race route suited me,” Bandeira said, “so that helped me win.”

Bandeira is a native of Lousã, Portugal, considered by many to be the nucleus of downhill racing in Portugal.

The scenario was a bit different for fellow teammate, Tiago Ladeira, who took aim at the podium in the junior category but missed the target. After a poor qualifying run, he gave everything he had in the final but bad luck came calling and he fell victim to some mistakes.

“I had no chance to do any better than thirteenth place in the general,” lamented the junior racer.

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