Defending Amstel Gold Race champion Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) escaped serious injury on Thursday in a car/bike collision while training near Lake Como in Italy.
According to a press release from the Astana team, the Italian was motorpacing behind a scooter driven by team director Stefano Zanini when a truck pulled out of a driveway and across traffic. Zanini avoided a collision, but Gasparotto was not so fortunate.
“It was impossible to brake. We were going 45 maybe 50K on a little bit of a descent, and it was impossible not to crash,” said Gasparotto. “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.”
The crash happened early in the ride and Gasparotto was able to continue. He collected the driver’s contact information, but did not notify authorities.
“The crash happened in the first hour of training, and we stopped to yell at the driver for about 20 minutes. But ‘Gaspa’ got back on his bike and rode at the same level for the rest of the training session,” said Zanini.
“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,” said Gasparotto. “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’ [Zanini] is a big man and he was really angry, and I really thought he was going to hit him.”