Imola: Alex Zanardi preview

FROM THREE TO FOUR WHEELS! Hi Friends, As you know I run the Handbike world championship last weekend and I have to say that overall it has been a great experience. Who knows me will not struggle to believe it if I admit that my expectations...


Hi Friends,

As you know I run the Handbike world championship last weekend and I have to say that overall it has been a great experience.

Who knows me will not struggle to believe it if I admit that my expectations were for a better result from a sportive view point. Anyway, now that I have a better idea of the "beast" I had to face, I also admit that the optimism I am born with mixed with the ambition that a sportive person has to have induced me to dream a result that is definitely out of my reach.

It is ok like this, in the chrono and in the in line race I put I my back more or less the same number of opponents that finished in front of me and, considering that only athletes filtered through national trials get admitted to the world championship, at the end of the day I should have been honoured to be among the ones taking part in the race.

More technically, I admit that I did not have in my arms strength and resistance to fight with the best ones, nevertheless I could have obtained better results by managing my resources in a different way, if I only had more experience... Particularly, in the in-line race, after only 500 meters I lost the stream of the group as a stupid; right at the first up-hill, to avoid a contact with an opponent I had to brake when the guys in front of me were sprinting. I underestimated that sprint and while I was recovering calmly for not fatiguing too much mu arms still cold I found myself 20 meters away from the group.

The problem is that I, who knows why, was convinced that the sprint would have been finished at the end of the up hill section, instead the strongest went downhill even sprinting more. Result: the twenty meters became thirty, then forty and when I finally started to give everything to catch them, it was too late.

I run about seven kilometres as fast as I could at the back of the group without getting them. In the flat, downhill section I was going at more than 60km/h and in the flat bit I never was slower than 40 but this didn't help. When the uphill started again I had already lost my strength and the contact rapidly got weaker even at a visual level.

I was feeling stupid, if I could do that again a thousand times I would not make the mistake again, but that's how it went on Saturday. Little by little I recovered some position by overtaking some of the "cadavers" that the group was leaving behind and I placed myself in a group of four composed by a Frenchman, two Norwegian and myself.

After offering collaboration intended by their actions, the three started to run sucking my back wheels for the slipstream. Every time I was asking them to collaborate to try and close the gap they ignored me hiding more at my back.

Really pusillanimous persons! I'd say, how can you go to a world championship and at the second of the six scheduled laps you start to run in a tactic way to save your forces against the other guys in your group? What kind of antisportive way of racing is this? What is the meaning of finishing fourteenth or twelfth? Isn't it better to push on and try to get those that can be at your reach, scoring the best possible time despite the final position?

After four laps (40km) I couldn't bear it anymore: I incited them, spurred and even insulted them but they never replied with an effort more. This is why I tried to recover some forces before the long uphill that was closing the lap and then I sprinted. Better spitting blood for the effort than doing it for these dirty rats, I told myself. The move worked only partially because the Frenchman managed to keep my pace and in the downhill bit got closer to my wheel.

I pulled him for four more kilometres and then I shouted to go in front, nothing. I moved on a side in the doubt he could not understand my French, nothing. I slowed down, nothing, always at my back. I was really pissed off: I shouted him that whatever he was trying was pointless because even I that meant to risk an heart attack I would not have beaten me at the finish line and that's what happened; in the last uphill bit I went up with a nastiness never seen without turning my back and when was on top the bastard disappeared.

Who knows, maybe people mentioned here will find the website and will read these lines, I hope this...

This has been a satisfaction anyway; managing to get worked up, get angry, finding something in yourself that others do not have exalts you, but being able to do this at 42 for me means living indeed and I can't wait to having another go.

The world championship hasn't been just my own and my category's one: I finish by congratulating my friend Fabrizio Macchi who won the gold medal in his chrono, to Podestà taking the silver home and who is really angry because he could have won. Same to Triboli, Pittacolo, Farroni, Borgato, to Francesca Fenocchio and Claudia Schuler who took home an incredible medal booty for our colours of "all colours".

I thank Fabrizio Tacchino, respected technician and trainer of a lot of athletes who has been following Vittorio Podestà for many years and that in the occasion accepted to give me precious advices for my training and to whom I hope to be able to give some sportive joy in the future

Now it's time to go back to four wheels and I do it very enthusiastically because on Sunday I will be at Imola. Unfortunately, I have to admit that even if I had some hopes for the home race, after checking weather forecasts it is almost certainly going to rain and this will set different values than those I foresaw, even regarding myself... I will not call me beaten from the start, let's make this clear, anyway I would have preferred much more a nice sun with summer temperatures...

We will see, I will give everything as always.



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Series WTCC
Drivers Alex Zanardi