Tiago Ladeira, Gonçalo Bandeira and José Borges are the three athletes of the Miranda & Irmão downhill and enduro teams who won awards at the 8th annual Jornal da Bairrada Sports Gala, which was held on Saturday night, November 17th, 2018 in Anadia, Portugal. Each athlete received a Sports Merit Diploma for individual performance throughout the season, which began in 2017 and ended this year.
The event, organized by the weekly Jornal da Bairrada newspaper, was sponsored by the Anadia Municipal Council and was intended to recognize and publicly acknowledge the merit of athletes, clubs, sports officials, coaches, referees and entities that excelled in their respective disciplines in the counties of Oliveira do Bairro, Anadia, Águeda, Cantanhede, Mealhada and Vagos throughout the 2017/2018 season.
Two athletes were awarded From the Miranda Factory Team, Miranda & Irmão's DHI team: junior racer, Tiago Ladeira, and cadet, Gonçalo Bandeira. José Borges of the Miranda Racing Team, the international team of the Águeda company, which specializes in developing high-end bicycle parts, brought home an award in the elite category.
Tiago Ladeira, 18 and a native of Viseu, was visibly pleased with the award, remarking that "it is important for us athletes to receive this kind of recognition; the same goes for Miranda & Irmão, which supplies us with the opportunity to reach our goals."
This year Ladeira became the European Junior DHI Champion, as well as earned the title of 2018 National Downhill Champion. He also scored a Top 5 finish in the last race of the UCI DHI World Cup.
Gonçalo Bandeira, 16, comes from Lousã, Portugal’s "mecca" of downhill. He was also very pleased with his diploma.
"I am happy to have been given this award at the Jornal da Bairrada Sports Gala and I hope to have even better results next year in order to earn another one."
He is the new 2018 Portuguese National Downhill Champion in the cadet category, as well as the overall champion in the 2018 Portugal Downhill Cup.
José Borges, 28, a native of Santa Maria da Feira, has been crowned for the fourth consecutive time as elite National Endurance Champion, and is ranked in the top 10 for the 2018 Enduro World Series, which is an international competition of renown for enduro. The Miranda Racing Team athlete also won the 2018 Portugal Enduro Cup.
"I finished the season beautifully by conquering all my personal goals: National Champion, winner of the Portuguese Enduro Cup and still very close to the top 10 in the world. This Diploma of Merit tops off these achievements, which I have been working toward for a long time. It is gratifying to be recognized and it is always very comforting to receive these prizes. We’ve wanted them, either as individual racers or as teams for Miranda & Irmão," stressed José Borges.
The gala, which took place at the Anadia Sports Pavilion this year, granted awards in 12 categories: Athlete of the Year, Breakout of the Year, Coach of the Year, Team of the Year, Special Jury Prize, Racing Prize, Incentive Prize, and In Memory and Sports Merit awards.
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