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Mat Coch & Chris Balfe write:
After claiming victory in the H4 handcycle timetrial earlier in the week, the irrepressible Alex Zanardi has claimed his second gold of the London Paralympic Games.
Competing in the 64Km handcycle road race the 45-year old Italian won in a sprint finish by just 0.01s over South African Ernst van Dyk.
The popular and inspirational Italian will return to Brands Hatch today to compete in the Team Relay, his final event of the Paralympics.
Since losing both legs in a crash at the EuroSpeedway in 2001 Zanardi has competed in the WTCC, winning races between 2005 and 2009, beginning his handcycling career in 2007.
"To win this race in this way, in such a dramatic way and sprinting makes me really proud," said Zanardi after the event. "It shows that I am a complete cyclist, even if I have no legs.
"The race did not go as I expected," he admitted. "I thought that I could take off soon and that I would only need to stay calm, but at the fourth lap I tested my opponents and understood my tactic would not work, so I changed it completely and only tried to save, save and save.
"I managed my energies well. It's been a tough race, I could have very well lost it."
Among the many Tweets of congratulations was one from another Italian (American) legend, Mario Andretti, who posted: "I couldn't be prouder of Alex Zanardi @lxznr if he was my own son. So glad to have seen this day. What an incredible thing we are witnessing."
He subsequently added: "Alex Zanardi @lxznr just called me and we celebrated 2nd gold on the phone. Interesting to hear detail of his strategy. He feels your love!"
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