Tenth world title for BMW Brand Ambassador Alessandro Zanardi: Italy wins gold in the para-cycling team relay
BMW Brand Ambassador Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) concluded the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, by winning his tenth world title. The third competition for him on the schedule at this event was the team relay on Sunday. Zanardi and his team-mates Paolo Cecchetto and Luca Mazzone, forming the Italian national team, dominated the race and successfully defended their world title.
The team relay was held over nine laps of a 1.09 kilometre track (overall distance 9.8 kilometres). The Italian trio lived up to the role of being the favourite. Zanardi, Cecchetto and Mazzone controlled the action and were unthreatened on their way to the gold medal. In the end, they completed the distance in a time of 16:31.734 minutes and had an advantage of six seconds over the USA’s second placed team. In the three Pietermaritzburg competitions he took part in, Zanardi claimed two world titles, in the time trial and the team relay, as well as a silver medal in the road race.
“I am extremely happy and joyful about winning another gold medal, my tenth overall,” said Zanardi. “I am also very happy as we broke a record as the Italian para-cycling team and won more gold medals at this event than ever before. It is fantastic for the entire team.”
“If I sum up the event from my personal view: it was great,” Zanardi continued. “What can I say? I claimed two more gold medals. In the road race, I ‘only’ finished second, but it was very close and to see that I am still this competitive at my age is kind of remarkable. I have to be proud of that – and now I try to recover a little bit because I have some other very, very important events waiting for me.”
There is, however, not much time for Zanardi to rest as these next events will be as soon as later this month: two long-distance triathlons. In two weeks’ time, he will tackle the event in Pula, Croatia (17th September), and on 30th September, he will contest the triathlon in Barcelona (ESP), one of the highlights of the year for him.