Portuguese racer Tiago Ferreira from Viseu is the world’s new mountain bike marathon champion following a historic win this weekend at the XCM Mountain Bike World Championships in Laissac, France.
Ferreira completed the 90-kilometre race in four hours, one minute and 57 seconds, 19 seconds ahead of Austrian rival Alban Lakata and 56 seconds ahead of Czech Republic’s Kristian Hynek.
The win came three weeks after the marathon racer won a silver medal at the European Mountain Bike Marathon Championship.
“I felt very well and super motivated after finishing second at the Euro championship,” Ferreira said after the win.
“At one point, Hector Paez attacked my lead on the last hill and I kept up with him. I suffered at lot, but I knew I had to pull through. He tried to overtake me when we were going downhill but he fell. I also fell at one point too, but I got up and gave it my all until the finish line,” he added.
Ferreira said he still cannot believe he won and said he does not know “how it will feel to sport the champion jersey” for a whole year.
Pedro Vigário, the national manager, said Tiago had a “perfect race” and followed the strategy perfectly, adding that it was a “spectacular day, with dozens of Portuguese celebrating the victory at the finish line”.
Ferreira’s next big challenge will be at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where he will try to bring home a medal for Portugal.