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Vasco Bica’s hard-earned 62nd place in the World Downhill Championships

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Crashes mar Miranda racers' world champ ambitions

Miranda Factory Team’s elite racer, Vasco Bica, finished 62nd yesterday in the World Downhill Championships. After some initial struggles, the rider faced the racecourse in Lenzerheide, Switzerland as one of three Portuguese racers representing the national team in among the 80 athletes from around the world who raced in Sunday’s final.

Born in Luso, in Portugal's Mealhada municipality, Vasco Bica didn’t embark on this adventure at the World Championships in the best way. Bica suffered a severe and violent crash on the first day of training, from which he fortunately emerged unscathed. Though still spooked, Bica managed a good race in the qualifying run to reach the longed-for final.

"I can only be happy with my performance after the many misfortunes we had,” Bica said. “Those were difficult days because of the crashes. We lost Tiago to a crash, and I had to compete with a lot of body aches. It was good to qualify and compete in the World Cup final, but now it's time to rest and start thinking about next year. Thank you to Miranda & Irmão for all the support."

Pedro Vigário, who was in charge of choosing racers for the national downhill team, also selected the Portuguese junior national and European junior champion, Tiago Ladeira, who races for the Miranda Factory Team, to be part of the entourage. But on the qualifying day, this time bad luck came calling on the Vizianese racer who fell victim to a serious crash that caused a blood vessel rupture and torn ligaments in his left hand. This incident prevented him from qualifying and forced him to abandon the competition.

"It seems that my first World Championships didn’t go as intended,” Ladeira lamented. “During a practice run I had a crash that ended up putting me out of competition. I was a bit upset — not because of the crash, but because I couldn’t race. I felt good on course — like I’ve never felt before.”

Well aware that "that’s racing," the Miranda Factory Team junior will be taking some time off from racing to recover from his injury.

"I am grateful to those who have supported me, I promise I'll be back soon!"

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