Alex Zanardi

Alessandro Zanardi: New world record in endurance triathlon.

Just a few weeks after his DTM guest start in Misano, Zanardi took part in the “Ironman Italy Emilia-Romagna” in Cervia – and set a new world record.

Four weeks ago, BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi caused a stir at his DTM guest appearance at Misano. Now he has enjoyed further success in a different discipline, just fifty kilometres to the north. On Saturday, Zanardi took part in the “Ironman Italy Emilia-Romagna” in Cervia – and set a new world record. The BMW brand ambassador needed a total time of 08:26.06 hours to complete 3.8 kilometres of swimming in the Mediterranean, 180 kilometres of cycling with his handbike and then the 42.2-kilometre marathon distance in his race wheelchair. That is the fastest time yet recorded by a triathlete with physical disabilities. Zanardi improved on his previous personal best by more than half an hour. He was one of the very top athletes at the event, finishing in fifth place overall out of around 2,700 participants. Zanardi had recorded his previous best time in an endurance triathlon in Barcelona, one year ago, when he finished in 08:58.59 hours to crack the nine-hour mark for the first time.

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Alex Zanardi

“The new world record and fifth place overall - that was just fantastic,” said Zanardi. “The secret of success in an endurance triathlon is learning to divide your energy up. Surrounded by nearly 3,000 other athletes, you have to do your own thing, concentrate on your own plan from the start to the finish and stick to every detail. I have also made some improvements to my equipment. I have a new swimsuit and needed less than an hour. 58 minutes was much better than I had expected. I have developed a new seating position for my handbike, designed purely for speed, and I have also improved my technique in the race wheelchair. This all added up and led to this success. But now I am concentrating totally on motor racing again. It is a great privilege in my life being able to switch back and forth between disciplines.”

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