The circuit has been changed, the difficulty was considerably increased, but the champion remains the same. For the sixth consecutive year, the Slovak Filip Polc secured the title and was again crowned in the “Descida das Escadas de Santos”, the main urban downhill competition in Latin America, which had its final on Sunday (14) in the Morro do Pacheco, downtown Santos. The sixth title was won in a thrilling fashion way, by a difference of incredible nine hundredths of a second over Lucas Borba, from Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Wallace Miranda, brazilian from São Paulo and champion in 2008 and 2009 was the third, followed by Guimerton Ribeiro Junior and Silvio César Felix Júnior. Under the heat of the sun and with a large audience all the way consisted of 514 steps, 600 meters of steep descent, what we saw was the athletes risking more and more. After 13 years in Monte Serrat, the event had a new scenario in its neighbor, the Morro do Pacheco.

In the semifinals, Lucas Borba, eighth place in qualifying astonished the espectators by moving up to second place, ahead of Wallace. But Polc has proven his worth by finishing the circuit in less than one minute. In the super decision, cyclists were overcoming themselves and four of the five finalists dropped to less than a minute. Wallace made a better time than Polc in the semifinals, 59,400 seconds; right after it comes Lucas, even faster, doing 58,985; and lastly the six-time champion, even missing at first, regained his stroke, to became once and for all the “King of Santos”, with 58,895 seconds.

“My race was not the ideal, I made some mistakes. At the beginning of the course, I felt hitting in one of the boards, I lost a bit of the control and even the balance, so that the difference was small. From there, I lost the chance to decrease more the time. No matter how slight it is the mistake, it compromises a lot. But I focused on gaining more speed. It was not easy but in the end it worked out”, said Polc.

The slovak athlete has enjoyed the new circuit and also the community, which welcomed him well during the event. “The track is great, more challenging and the people who lives nearby is heartwarming. With the samba school, everything got even more fun. It was a really nice combination”, affirmed Polc, referring to the excitment by the battery of Unidos dos Morros, the 2016 champion of Santos´ Carnival and that was just created in Morro do Pacheco.

Polc, the major champion of downhill, has also praised brazilian rivals and, at the same time, teased them jokingly. “It´s interesting to see how they have improved, especially in a different track. They have handled the pressure pretty well, but I´m still a little bit forward in comparision to them”, laughed. “Maybe with a little more training, they can do better than I will in a couple of years”.

Second placed, whom had the crown of champion for over a minute (before Polc made his final downhill race), didn´t hide his sadness about the fact that only nine hundredths of second had separated him from winning the race. “I have nothing much to say. It´s less than a blink of an eye. We got so close, I believe I´m in the right way. I was upset. We always want to win. But I demonstrate with my other brazilian fellas that we are getting in a higher level of competition. We have two arms, two legs, two eyes, everything is the same. Only dedication and confidence make us better over the years”, said the athlete of Ibirama, located in Santa Catarina, Brazil.
Like Polc, Wallace has also approved the new circuit and the audience in Morro do Pacheco. “It´s really nice. Feeling the affection of people there so close is something really fantastic for an athlete”, said the vice-championship. “I liked the new track. It has a lot to develop. In Monte Serrat, there wasn´t much to go, unlike Pacheco where it´s really possible to explore. And the show will be better for the community in the next years”.

Paulo Alexandre Barbosa, the mayor of Santos, had made a loto f compliments about the event and the popular participation, in its 14th edition consecutive time. “Seeing this public welcoming the competition and the athletes so well shows how the population of Santos is hospitable. The community of Morro do Pacheco has also demonstrated a great gesture of cordiality and receptivity”, said the major.

President of the Brazilian Confederation of Mountain Bike, Marcelo Coelho was satisfied by the new scenario of the competition. He is also the organizer and the creator of the event. “We have made a new challenge for the pilots. The event has changed completely. I wasn´t expecting all of this. We were 13 years in Monte Serrat and there was a new track next to us, but I haven´t get the chance to know it before. It´s a wonderful place”, argued him. He also praised the effective participation of the dwellers of Morro do Pacheco in all of the event´s process. In total, 200 people of its own community had been working as supervisors and in other functions. “Everything was great, we have seen a really receptive community. We felt that connection, this awesome way of working, making it happen. They really got their hands dirty”, said.

The 14th Descida das Escadas de Santos had the sponsors of Caixa Econômica Federal, Coppertone, Dolly, Fox, Gelog, Integralmédica, Porto de Santos, Riachuelo, Ricardo Eletro, Prefeitura Municipal de Santos, Rexona, Sherwin Williams, with support of Instituto Amigos do Pacheco and ONG Sem Fronteiras. Creation and organization by CBMTB – Confederação Brasileira de Mountain Bike.


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