DEDICATED TO FRANCO Hi everybody, I wanted to write you something after the marathon held two weeks ago in Treviso, but it has not been the disappointment of losing a race almost won to discourage me, but rather my ancestral incapacity of ...
DEDICATED TO FRANCO
I wanted to write you something after the marathon held two weeks ago in Treviso, but it has not been the disappointment of losing a race almost won to discourage me, but rather my ancestral incapacity of organizing myself and finding some time, together with the fact that, for me, the spare time is always too few.
Let's step back to Treviso.
I trained very well during winter, especially after changing my position on the handbike copying, if you like, the gesture of the strongest athletes of the category.
The initial exits drove away almost all doubts on the fact that I wasted a lot of time and effort on the EVRO but, you know, I am stubborn and at the end of the day I had fun getting my hands dirty while building it.
On the other hand, being wrong on everything I ideally invested with my old creation was also a hope. Honestly, my preparation of last year had been superficial and I managed anyway to stay close to strong International athletes in several occasions.
The thought that only by changing my way of pedalling would have allowed me to make a good performance jump was a certainty for Vittorio Podestà, but for me it was a thing too nice to be true.
This seemed to be the truth and Treviso's marathon would have been the perfect chance to settle the question forever.
This for two reasons: first, technically, the track was fast and flowing and therefore it was suiting less my "sprinter" or "climber" characteristics and a good performance in this occasion would have had an even bigger significance. Secondly, the presence of Paolo Cecchetto among all the opponents I would have challenged. He is one of the strongest opponents in Italy in this kind of races and he would have been a unique reference.
I have honestly to say that my category is the "C" one and at an International level I have to compete against athletes that on sprint are even faster than a very strong "B" racer like Paolo and this is for a technical reason, not for merit, but in the past I used to read the number plate of athletes like Cecchetto at the start because at my arrival they were already showering.
Thinking to be head to head with him in a race that was suiting more his than my characteristics was an intriguing thought that I was anxious to verify.
This is how things went. Since the start, at every raise after the very few corners of the Treviso's track I always managed not only to control my opponents but also to set the pace administering my energies.
I set the breakaway that, together with Cecchetto, we outdistanced the peloton and once in Treviso, only a crushing slip made me lose a race when it was already won; at the last corner, after following the bike of the organization for 42 km, I thought to do the same even when they were exiting the track for not crossing the finish line and when I realized the mistake it was already too late. Still trying to go through the last corner negotiated late I "hugged" the barrier awarding Paolo Cecchetto with the victory.
On the moment I was really disappointed, but thinking on it afterwards and considering the huge quality leap that I had confirmation of with my performance, during the week I realized I had thousands of reasons to be really satisfied.
The comeback chance was very fast to come. Yesterday I run the very nice Rome Marathon that, due to its characteristics, seemed to be perfect for me.
And it has been so. After a good start, at the second km in an uphill fraction I pulled away from my opponents and I kept pushing to make my advantage grow constantly. This kept on even when, despite racing alone -- not an easy thing both for psychological and technical reasons, since using the slipstream of an opponent is an irreplaceable recovery chance. The great joy has been also to notice that even in the last two km I managed to gain advantage on the strong duo Cratassa-Achenza that were battling for the second place.
The final time has been great, 1h 15' e 53'', new Marathon record.
I wanted to make this small gift to my friend Franco Ballerini, dedicating the victory to him and obtaining the record is an added value that I would be false to describe as an unwanted surprise.
I wanted to do that for a lot of reasons. The first is that due to the loose pebbles typical of Rome's roads, I lived a bit the difficulties of the Paris-Rubaix that Franco dominated awarding our Country with the joy of yet another National Anthem played for our colors. It has been great to achieve this and to make a small gift to a friend that is not with us anymore.
Now, as Franco would tell me, keep on going because London is waiting...
-source: alex zanardi