Enrico Gasparotto responds to truck collision: “You never know when bad luck will happen”
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Enrico Gasparotto responds to truck collision: “You never know when bad luck will happen”

by Ben Atkins at 2:21 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Amstel Gold Race, Injury
Amstel Gold champion almost foretold training accident but should be fit to defend title

enrico gasparottoEnrico Gasparotto (Astana) has recalled an almost prophetic conversation with his girlfriend last night about the safety of riding on the Italian roads, which almost seemed to foresee his collision with a delivery truck on his training ride today.

“Yesterday my girlfriend and I went out to eat and we were talking about how you never know when bad luck will happen,” said the 30-year-old. “How it's impossible to feel safe on the roads. And today it happened.”

Gasparotto is preparing for the defence of his Amstel Gold Race title on Sunday, as well as the Liège-Bastogne-Liège victory of teammate Maxim Iglinskiy the following weekend.

"These Ardennes races really suit me, and I hope this isn't destroyed by a little crash."

The Italian was luckily not seriously hurt as he was in high collision with a truck, while training in the Como region of Italy, and expects to be fully fit to defend his Amstel Gold Race title on Sunday. The Italian was training behind a scooter, ridden by team directeur sportif Stefano Zanini, when a delivery truck pulled out in front of them and - while Zanini was able to stop in time - Gasparotto could do nothing to avoid the collision.

"It was impossible to brake,” Gasparotto explained. We were going 45 maybe 50k on a little bit of a descent, and it was impossible not to crash. I was very, very lucky that there was no real damage. My body is a little bit hurt, and my bike was not so good. I have a little bit of pain right now, but today is Thursday, and I can go to the osteopath tonight and everything should be good by Sunday.”

With Gasparotto unhurt, Zanini proceeded to seriously berate the offending driver, although it is not clear whether the former rider - who won the Amstel Gold Race himself in 1996 - involved the Italian police.

"The crash happened in the first hour of training, and we stopped to yell at the driver for about 20 minutes,” he explained. “But Gaspa got back on his bike and rode at the same level for the rest of the training session.”

Gasparotto won last year’s Amstel Gold Race by outsprinting Belgian Jelle Vanendert and Slovakian Peter Sagan on the climb to the Cauberg-top finish as they chased down a tenacious attack from three-time World champion Oscar Freire. He followed this with 11th place in la Flèche Wallonne in midweek, before taking third, behind teammate Iglinskiy, in Liège the following Sunday.

"For me this is the most important week of the year, and I want to have good races in the Ardennes, so I continued my training session and that was all I could do,” he explained. “I yelled at the driver that this is my job, I don't go out on the bike just for fun, and he has no idea the sacrifices we make to be professionals. But Zaza is a big man and he was really angry, and I really thought he was going to hit him.”

Astana Pro Team for the Amstel Gold Race
Jakob Fuglsang, Enrico Gasparotto, Francesco Gavazzi, Andriy Grivko, Maxim Iglinskiy, Alexey Lutsenko, Simone Ponzi and Kevin Seeldraeyers


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