Friday, September 07 2012
Alex Zanardi stunned the Brands Hatch crowd with an amazing sprint finish at the end of the Men's Individual H4 Road Race this afternoon (Friday) to claim his second gold of the 2012 Paralympic Games.
In a thrilling race which saw the lead eight riders cycle together throughout the duration, a final burst of speed with 300 metres to go proved decisive.
Zanardi had been sixth heading up towards Paddock Hill Bend with less than a kilometre remaining, but forced his way towards the front of the pack with the full support of a rapturous Brands Hatch crowd. The Italian then launched his sprint attack on the Brabham Straight to edge out South African rider Ernst can Dyk by just one second after two hours.
"To win this race in this way, in such a dramatic way and sprinting makes me really proud. It shows that I am a complete cyclist, even if I have no legs" Zanardi commented afterwards.
"I haven't yet realised it completely! Fantastic though, I'm very proud of myself, the other day I wasn't really proud, of course I won the gold but quite frankly I didn't do my best race. Today was not an easy race to win. I really had to do everything in the perfect way and I did it and that's why I'm so proud of myself.
"There was no space for feelings (during the final sprint) I just kept my focus on what I was doing that was the only way I could emerge with a big smile on my face."
"It was a very tactical race, the two Dutch riders were very strong and very good sprinters, they tried to race as a team and I looked for an ally. I knew that Oscar Sanchez (USA) was the man for me, but that did not work out too well.
"I tried to save as much as I could during the race, I know I'm a good sprinter and just had to be confident in myself and it worked. I managed my energies well, it's been a tough race, and I could have very well lost it."
To make sure you miss none of the action at Brands Hatch click here to visit the Paralympics minisite.
Click here to check availability for tickets to the Paralympic Road Cycling events at Brands Hatch.
Please note: this event is organised by LOCOG and only official London 2012 tickets are valid for admission. Any MSV-issued passes, for example media, residents' and season passes, are NOT valid for admission.