LIVE TO RIDE

MTB UNDERDOG – ROGER VIEIRA

Words & Video: Nico Turner / Live To Ride
Photos: Adam Lieviesely
Sponsor: Oneal Racing / Moore Large

Brazilian MTB downhill racer Roger Vieira is fighting his way into the top 20 at the UCI World Cups, can he make it in 2021?

Born in Brazil Roger moved to the UK in 2014 and has settled down in the Midlands, working at Moore Large a distribution company in the bike industry and racing on the weekends he’s been climbing the ranks in recent years. This off season has meant staying local and riding everything Derbyshire has to offer on a trail bike.

Starting young Roger’s first memories were riding and racing XC, although he soon discovered he was more suited to the descents.. Pictured below is Roger (left) and his brother Douglas (right) who also races.

“I was always the guy that would struggle on the uphill but would go well on the downhill, so in 2006 I raced my first downhill race. After that my dad saw I was wanting to do that so he bought me a little free ride hardtail” – Roger Vieira

So how does a Brazilian who’s moved to the UK feel the riding compares? Firstly the sheer quantity of trails hidden away in the woods here in the UK whilst they aren’t long they are plentiful and offer up a lot of variety from technical roots and rocks to large jumps.

A winter “staying local” has meant Roger has barely spent any time on his downhill bike ahead of this weekends first UCI downhill World Cup in Leogang. But the time spent on the trail bike has left him feeling stronger than ever and with the hidden gems in the local valley full of rock slabs and loamy ruts he’s feeling strong.

“I’m feeling really good, really fit, I still think I can be fitter and stronger but for now on I’ll try to get even fitter to be ready to battle again with all the big boys.. Watch out Loïc Bruni, I’m coming for you..!” – Roger Vieira

A bold statement to end this episode. We will have to see this weekend if Roger has what it takes to battle the top riders going into this weekends racing.