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START SPREADIN' THE NEWS....! Hi Friends, It is too easy to write only when things go according to plan... and this is why I am writing now, the day after a race that I cared a lot about but that did not go as I hoped for, I mean New York's ...


Hi Friends,

It is too easy to write only when things go according to plan... and this is why I am writing now, the day after a race that I cared a lot about but that did not go as I hoped for, I mean New York's Marathon.

Despite my thousand of commitments I managed to train quite well. Starting from Venice Marathon I obtained a good victory (thanks also to an intentional braking on the finish line by my friend Vittorio Podestà) and for the race in the "Big Apple" I honestly hoped to repeat myself.

In fact, the Newyorkese track suited particularly well my characteristics and, despite being aware I would have found a set of remarkable rivals composed by several athletes at the top of International classifications, I did not fear the challenge and I couldn't wait for it to start.

At the start I was stuck in the traffic of slower athletes that started ahead of me when some of the strongest rivals were climbing on the up-hill of the Verrazzano bridge.

No worries, after getting rid of the chaos of the first meters of the race I recovered quickly on the frontrunners, and the way I did that psyched me up: Dane Pilon, winner of the race, was alone at the lead and who knows what he had thought when I suddenly got on him in a way he could not foresee and I responded to his astonishment with an "Hello!"...

Well. my race was really short, at least at that level. I was first, managing to keep easily my position without any rush to pull away since the moment to attack was not quite arrived yet. Shortly after the second mile Pilon that was in my slipstream touched me. His front wheel hit my rear left, my bike was lifted and spun and, incredibly enough, (I believe this is what happened), I hit a manhole cover with the rear right wheel and this damaged the wheel rim!

If I had wanted to do that on purpose, it would have taken me a thousand of trials before repeating such an event, but I manage to do this in a race that I cared the most.

What a rotten luck! After a short moment of disbelief I started over again recovering on the first two as in the heat of the contact the Polish Skripnszky reached us too. Running on the carbon fiber rim that was making a deafening noise on the tarmac, I kept stubbornly keeping their wheel but things started to get worse. The rim started to wear off and to fall apart.

My handbike was jumping, pieces of carbon fiber were hitting my right side and arm, keep going was more and more difficult and after four or five km in those conditions I started to lose contact with the leader.

Moreover, as my wheel was wearing off, the setup of my Bike started to look like that of the Pisa's tower, but unlike our beautiful historic monument, I knew that my agony would have had quite a fast end in those conditions.

I do not want to play the braggart telling you that the word "defeat" does not exist in my vocabulary, but I think I proved that at the end I don't like using that word much in the things I try to do and so...

The very nice "Ursus" wheel that I was using held beyond what is credible and I took it to die at the 33rd km of race!

The right lever hit the ground at every stroke for several km and when even the seat started to touch the ground I had to surrender to the evidence that a steward was shouting at me "You're done!" from the assistance van.

He was right, anyway as they opened the doors of the van to load my bike, a voice shouted from the inside "Take my wheel!".

Well, just to cut a long story short, a guy that I met before the start finished early his race due to the breakage of one of his hubs and right on that van he was getting to the finish line. "Take my wheel" he said, and that is what I did.

With an Allen wrench that magically appeared from below the seat of one of the cyclists following us I managed to replace the wheel and I started to charge again in the last few km of the race.

Finishing has been nice and I cannot wait to check the partial times because I believe that in the last five km of the race I managed to recover a lot of ground to the front runners and this shows that I could have really won.

What a shame, anyway, sport has occupied a lot of my life and I know well that I often won the glory left there by unlucky opponents that day, that's life and racing, and nothing can be done to change it.

After Rome, Milan and Venice, adding to my "Slam" of this year a victory obtained in New York would have been fantastic, but what happened cannot give me more enthusiasm and determination to get back to US next year and try again.


-source: alex zanardi

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Series Formula 1 , IndyCar , WTCC
Drivers Alex Zanardi