Italian champ goes for Paralympic glory

Losing his left leg some 20 years ago after a tumour of the knee, Italian Fabrizio Macchi said from...

Losing his left leg some 20 years ago after a tumour of the knee, Italian Fabrizio Macchi said from that moment on, 'my second life had begun'.

Current national champion in the road time trial and individual pursuit, coupled with numerous podium placings but never a gold medal at world championship level, Macchi, from Varese, is no longer content with the second or third step. "It's the time to stop it, I don't please myself with second or third places... I ride for the win, and I don't hide it," he said.

"The most important occasion will be the individual pursuit on track, Friday 11," declared Macchi, referring to the upcoming IPC (International Paralympic Committee) Cycling World Championships from September 9-18 in Aigle, Switzerland, where the Italian will take part in four events over seven days.

"The track in Aigle is not among the fastest but it is very flowing: it is necessary to be able to drive the bike because the track is very compact and requires a nimble way of pedalling. I could be protagonist in the time trial, too, after the winning the World Cup [with three wins in four races - ed.]. I will try... "

Speaking about his final preparation leading to the IPC World's, Macchi said: "I have continued to train at home, on the roads and on the track in Varese. Recently, I have differentiated the workout: I go on track not more than one or two times in the week and the rest I ride on the road, with sprints on the climbs, time trials and motor-pacing. When I can, I go out with athletes such as Ivan Basso and Stefano Zanini."

"I can say that my condition is more than good," continued Macchi. "I am very satisfied because, for the first time, I succeeded in finishing my preparation without impediments. Since I have intensified the training, I have not caught a cold... Fingers crossed, there are a few days before the races... "

The road events will be held from September 15-17, beginning with the time trial and followed by the road race.

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