Alex Zanardi newsletter 2008-04-27

TO PARAPHRASING FIORELLO MOCKING MINA: "HO FATTO UN GESTO EROIGO! " (I MADE A HEROIC GESTURE!) As you may have noticed from the pictures, my Padova's marathon has had an unexpected outcome. In the past days, we made some small modifications to...

TO PARAPHRASING FIORELLO MOCKING MINA: "HO FATTO UN GESTO EROIGO! " (I MADE A HEROIC GESTURE!)

As you may have noticed from the pictures, my Padova's marathon has had an unexpected outcome. In the past days, we made some small modifications to the "Lupella", the handbike that I designed and that I used for the first time in race, without any time to thoroughly test them: at the end of the day they were self-defeating.

During the initial kilometres, to avoid an opponent, I made a sharp turn; unfortunately, due to a pothole right in the trajectory, the bike rolled over. While getting back up and running, I lost a minute and half and even if the Lupella was a little bit damaged I started pushing very hard to recover the lost ground.

At the fifteenth kilometre, another pothole caused the second, more serious, rolling over at about 45Km/h. During the fall I managed to unfasten the seat belt but this did not prevent me to dig myself on the edge of a ditch (fortunately without water) a few centimetres from the concrete "bridge" leading to a house. I reported some abrasions, especially on my nose, causing intense bleeding. A person promptly came to help me and started shouting "Ambulance, ambulance!" but then with all the anxiety she had to lay down too.

In the meantime, Doctor Costa arrived too and, after turning pale due to my conditions (something that does not happen very often to him due to what he sees in the motorbike championship), he told me: "Alessandro, that's it, I am calling the ambulance". I answered him taking my t-shirt off and cleaning my face: "I get the chain back on gear and I set off again". But in that moment I saw doc's eyes become watery.

The remaining of the race has been a real struggle: apart from my physical pain, the Lupella, challenged by the accidents, seemed to be possessed by the Devil and had unforeseeable behaviours. The rhythm has been not the best one but I wanted to cross the finish line, where my son, my wife and a lot of other people that came to Padova were waiting for me.

It's very hard to analyse such an eventful marathon, but I am convinced that without all these contingencies I would have centred my objective of being quicker than an hour and fifteen minutes. Before the two accidents I was very close to the lead and after the first one I could still have recovered ground on the pacemakers. After the second fall there was not that much left to do. But honestly, with the strongest specialists being in this race, it would have been impossible to get on the podium."

-credit: alex-zanardi.com

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Series WTCC
Drivers Alex Zanardi