Almodovar: Manuel Caetanita, a "young" champion cyclist of Portugal and Iberian Masters.

Cyclist for over half a century, want to continue to compete to achieve the career goal and that will mark his life. "Dream bring a medal Masters World Championship (veterans), even if it is of bronze and then fix up the bike ", discloses Manuel Caetanita.

Manuel Caetanita, 69 year old

Profession: Reformed (car mechanic)

Birth and Residence: Almodovar

The Alentejo of Almodovar recalled that last year in France was on the verge of getting that done, but "a violent fall stole my dream", ends.

On the road and in the shed Fund or Line, He managed five titles of National Champion, one and two of the Iberian Peninsula and one ramp, while in Time Trial, He reached four titles. Last day 24 May, in Reguengos de Monsaraz, under a torrid 38 degrees, Caetanita got the Penta.

Your "crowning glory" took place in the Tour of Portugal's 1976 when he defeated, Joaquim Agostinho, Fernando Mendes, Joaquim Andrade and Firmino Bernardino and won the stage that ended in Aveiro, wearing the sweater of the House of People of Almodovar. More

The passion for cycling began to 17 years when headed to Dublin to make a living as an auto mechanic. on the EN125, via pass António Graça, José Maria Nunes and other famous halls of Gym Tavira and the "bug" bikes "came to him" in the body. The other figure cycling, Humberto crow, He bought his first bike. "I was used. A Beta with chrome frame, It was an excellent machine. Cost 1.200 shields, a fortune ", recalls.

He joined Louletano, but the doctor said that he had very low heart rate and did not want to let compete. "One day I went to Dr.Barreiros Magalhães (father), the doctor of the Tour and after a rigorous inspection told directors: deem you are eating, evil is hungry. The boy is a machine ", remember.

After the troops in Lagos, Manuel Caetanita returns to Almodovar and then the adventure begins with the creation of a team on the ground. First the House of Commons and then the Sports Club. I worked and trained early morning. "In the winter cold and frost killed a man. impermeable? Not even heard about it ", shoots. In 1976, He made the longest career step. "We left Beja, with 40 and many degrees, toward Envendos, were 237 kilometers. He won the Fernando Mendes ", recalls.

In 1977 falls in the Tour of Portugal and leaves, the injury never knew what was, but one "chaff" was in it. "Last year I fell and fractured basin. 40 years later discovered the injury back ", ends.

In the first of three laps that made, were 20 days of stage and as many race "won two contos. It was the passion we dragged ". In Almodovar there today two professional runners, Daniel Master and Henrique Casimiro, but I know idol is the British Chris Froome: "Race without Froome is not the same thing", justified.

"In the races many young people already call me grandfather, but, also acknowledge that I am still hard ", shoots laughing Manuel Caetanita.

Teixeira Correia

(journalist)

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