For seven days, the athlete sponsored by Polisport, Tiago Ferreira faced about 600Km and almost 11,000m of accumulated climbing, between trails and dirt roads that connect Arraial d'Ajuda, in Porto Seguro, to Brasil Ride Village, built annually in Guaratinga. With lots of stories to tell, we wanted to hear what feels like to participate in a race like this.
Considered the Giro d'Italia of Mountain Biking, the ultramarathon offers a strong challenge for 570 participating athletes from 24 countries. While Tiago Ferreira secured his second title, Hans Becking equaled Jiri Novak (CZE) and Henrique Avancini as the event's biggest champions, with three wins. This is the story from Tiago Ferreira, the winner of 10th edition with the race, together with Hans Becking.
Polisport: In which aspects does Brazil Ride stand out from other races?
Tiago Ferreira: I had already been seven times in Brazil Ride, this one was the eighth. Everything that concerns this race such as the engaging, the stages, the relationships, the athletes is what makes this race unique and special. Winning with Hans, on the 10th Edition of Brazil Ride, it made our victory even more special for both; for Hans since he won for the third time, and for me since I won for the second time. And these were our focus, as winning was our goal line.
Polisport: How do you prepare and work your dynamics as a team?
Tiago Ferreira: This race can only be done in pairs. Hans and I live in different countries, he in Belgium and I in Portugal. Each one of us works alone but we are trained by the same person, therefore our practices are the most similar as possible, so we can stay at the same level as a duo.
The race was great because we were both, physically, in good shape. We know each other very well, even though we are not always working as a pair, we attend to the same calendar and competitions. We do not need a permanent communication, because we know each other well enough to understand our mood and we can always adjust these details.
But I can say without a doubt, that this key point work, such as understand each other’s limits, is done during the stages.
Polisport: What makes Brazil Ride special for you?
Tiago Ferreira: Brazil Ride was my first race by stages, in 2011. Since it was the very first, it became an event that I look forward on every year-end. Friendships, the old and new ones, the people we know, the language, since is almost the same, are aspects that combine and make Brazil Ride special.
Polisport: Which advice would you give to those who want to participate in this race?
Tiago Ferreira: Get a partner with who you have a good relationship, since this event is seven days long and there are all kind of moments during the stages; so, it must be someone who you are close with.
The race preparation is also challenging because it is seven days under extreme conditions. Resting is not always pleasant, since we have three nights where we sleep in tents. We must know how to deal with these aspects and know each other boundaries.
It is not healthy push our partner to the limit when he already reached it, and that is a key point.
Polisport: Is the Brazilian audience different from the Portuguese? How did they react to your victory?
Tiago Ferreira: Portuguese audience is different from Brazilian audience, since the last one is a little more enthusiastic. But we deal with it, without a problem. It would be nice if our problems were all about dealing with audiences.
It was a good season finale. It was a very important victory for both but is already gone and right now we are outline our goals for next season and, hopefully, ended it in the same way.
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Photo: Brasil Ride