Former Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi will be one of seven Rio 2016 cycling medallists in the Italy team at their home Road World Championships in Maniago from 2-5 August. The 51-year-old and four-time Paralympic champion seeks to outdo his performance from last year’s Worlds, when he won gold in the time trial H5 and silver in the road race H5.
Zanardi will be joined by 21 more cyclists, including Rio 2016 gold medallists Paolo Cecchetto (men’s H3) and Luca Mazzone (men’s H2).
Paralympic bronze medallists Fabio Anobile (men’s C1-3), Giancarlo Masini (men’s C1), Francesca Porcellato (women’s H3) and Andrea Tarlao (men’s C5) will also start as favourites for the title on home soil.
Coach Mario Valentini said: “There is big pride for this National Team. The World Championships in our homeland gives really much motivation and the Azzurri has taken a lot of medals and satisfactions during the last World Cup stages here in Maniago, where the fans showed their support.
“The city of Maniago and the Italian fans are indeed very happy and proud for our movement.”
Maniago 2018 Organising Committee President Mauro Valentini added: “This World Championships will be an unforgettable edition; Italy is read to welcome Paralympic sport and these guys know how to excite their supporters.”
Italy finished second in the road cycling medals table at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and the 2017 Road World Championships, behind Germany in both occasions.
The full Italian delegation is available on Maniago 2018’s website.