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Zanardi powers Italy to Paralympics Relay silver

Saturday, September 08 2012

Alex Zanardi helped power Italy to a second placed finish in the Mixed H1-4 Time Trial at Brands Hatch this afternoon (Saturday) to add a silver medal to his two golds earned on Wednesday and Friday.

Teamed with Francesca Fenocchio and Vittorio Podesta, the Italian trio tackled a hectic race that saw frequent lead changes as each rider took three turns each to lap the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in a nine lap race.

After Fenocchio and Podesta had taken their first turns, Zanardi entered the fray and immediately thrust the team back into contention. It was a similar story on the next two legs as although his colleagues improved their pace it was the H4 categorised Zanardi that made up the most groud, eventually overtaking the French team half way around the final lap to claim the silver.

Marianna Davis, Matthew Updike and Oscar Sanchez claimed gold for the USA ahead of the Italians with Jean-Marc Berset, Ursula Schwaller and Heinz Frei securing bronze for Switzerland.

Speaking afterwards Zanardi said: "Once again I am speechless. When you achieve something on your own it is great but winning as a team is even better.

"Every one of us took every ounce of power from our muscles. Obviously we raced in different ways, because we are athletes in different categories mixed in a random way, but I think this is the spice of the event. For us it is spectacular."

Zanardi is expected to return to motorsport in the future, but he still hints at remaining in handcycling following his London 2012 success: "Maybe there will also be time for Rio, but just to make sure I put it all on this.

"It is perfectly fine for me to go back to normal life, take my son to school, things like that. But if along the way there will be a chance to light some more firecrackers, I won't hold myself back. It would be a shame to miss opportunities."

The next major event at Brands Hatch is the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship on 12-14 October. Tickets are available in advance for £32 with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information or to book tickets call 0843 453 9000 or click this link.