Leonardo Carmo and Lourenço Hartel, athletes from Team BMX from Quarteira, were in good shape at the Spanish BMX Cup, which took place this weekend in Murcia and represented "a positive experience" for the national team, dominated by athletes from the Algarve (seven out of nine), whose performance was «auspicious».
Over the two rounds of the Spanish competition, the young Portuguese cyclists "managed to pass the first qualifying stages, reaching the semi-finals in all categories in which they competed", according to the Portuguese Cycling Federation (FPC).
«The cadet Leonardo Carmo stood out, seventh in the test on Saturday and eighth on Sunday. In the same category, Lourenço Hartel was close to the finals, being ranked ninth in both stages», revealed the same entity.
Portuguese junior Rita Xufre was one of the four participants in the absolute category race, joining elite and junior cyclists.
The athlete from Setúbal was ranked third on both days and, despite her youth, Alexandre Almeida, the national coach, was satisfied: «she adapted well to the junior category, she was always in the fight».
Mention also goes to junior Bernardo Rocha, also from Team BMX de Quarteira, who competed in the absolute category and was ninth on both days.
′′ He revealed a lack of rhythm, due to a recent injury. He entered the finish line in conditions to qualify for the final and die on the beach, dropping from third to fifth, due to lack of that physical condition», explained Alexandre Almeida.
Juniors Édi Barradas and Rita Xufre (Núcleo Bicross de Setúbal/Knowledge Inside), Bernardo Rocha (Team BMX from Quarteira) and Martim Almeida (Clube Bicross de Portimão), cadets Guilherme Paixão and Sebastian Ellis (Clube Bicross de Portimão), Leonardo Carmo and Lourenço Hartel (Team BMX from Quarteira) and youth André Muller (Clube Bicross from Portimão) were the nine athletes who represented Portugal in the Spanish race.
The national team was satisfied with the performance of all, “on a track that does not benefit us, as it requires a start with great power and because we are still in an early stage of preparation. The performances are, however, motivating and encourage us to have more ambitious goals in the next international participations».
In another cycling event, the MTB French Cup, a woman from the Algarve, Raquel Dias (Extremosul/Alísios/CA Terras do Arade), was also featured, who was ranked 5th in the junior international race.
After «a less successful first lap», the athlete from Messi «made a race of overcoming and went up in the general classification, until closing the test in fifth place», according to the FPC.
Pedro Vigário, national mountain bike coach, said, after the race, that it was «a very consistent race» for the three Portuguese runners who took part in it – Beatriz Guerra (3rd) and Marta Carvalho (13th), in addition to Raquel Dias.
«Beatriz was always in contention for the top positions. Raquel did a good test, from back to front. Marta was also fine, but saw her performance hampered by a mechanical problem, a stick that damaged her gear right at the beginning of the race », she analyzed.