Junior racer, Tiago Ladeira, of the Miranda Factory Team took fifth place in the last race of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz World Cup Downhill series, which took place this past weekend in La Bresse, France. Elite racer, Vasco Bica, failed to make it into the final after Saturday's qualifying round, and abandoned the venue before Sunday’s final.
Ladeira, who is both the Portuguese junior national and the European junior downhill champion, finished the last World Cup downhill race of the season in fifth place. This was an encouraging result for the Miranda Factory Team — Miranda & Irmão’s official downhill team, which has raised its expectations and elevated its ambitions for this season's remaining events, specifically the iXS in Austria and the World Championships in Switzerland.
"It started to rain after practice and, without knowing the condition of the racecourse, I was able to qualify with confidence, which allowed me to get into the Top 20 and reach the final where I gave it my best," said Ladeira.
With his excellent result, the European Junior Champion said he was "very happy" to make it into his first Top 5.
"Although the weather conditions weren’t very good because of the rain and mud, I managed a clean, safe run, which guaranteed me fifth place," he explained.
For the Miranda Factory Team, Ladeira’s result provides encouragement and strength to waste no time and start preparing for the World Championship, which are two weeks from now.
Despite not qualifying in his category, elite racer, Vasco Bica, who is still recovering from a wrist injury that forced him to stop for months, is focused on getting back to where he wants to be.
"I'm glad to be back in the World Cup, but unfortunately I could not qualify,” Bica said. “I’m still recovering and the weather conditions made my work very difficult. But I hope to come back stronger and qualify for the World Cup, which is my main goal."
Due to this type of world competition, cadet racer, Gonçalo Bandeira, is not eligible to race. He will return to racing next weekend, September 1-2, at the iXS European Downhill Series in Austria. Bica and Ladeira will also race, with a collective team goal for scoring the best results at the event.
Then, on the following weekend, September 8-9, Ladeira has already been selected to represent Portugal in the World Championship in Switzerland.
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