The Pro Cycling Tour of Lombardy race, held last Saturday, October 14. After 245 kilometers in a day’s race, the winner was the Olympic champion and the world, Paolo Bettini; also known as Il Grillo (Cricket) for his style of attack in racing and his great speed. The Italian reached the goal with their faces bathed in tears, while he pointed to the sky and kissed his Rainbow Jersey. But these tears were not just for the joy of having won his ninth career in 2006, actually were of nostalgia, for the recent loss of one of the people who support him throughout his life. Sauro Bettini (42), the older brother of Paolo died on 2 October 2006, in a car accident in La California-Bibbona in Italy.
The Grillo admitted a day before the race, after the accident of his brother, he had come to consider retiring from cycling, but was her father who convinced him to remain steadfast and run at the Giro Lombardy. After winning the world title, still I felt in good shape, but I wasn’t sure if I was mentally strong said Bettini. Paolo was the first to attack when crossing the Madonna del Ghisallo, 45 km away from the goal, and attacked again in the Civiglio mountain located 18 km from the finish line at Lake Como. In the arched descent for a moment stole us encouragement when he seemed to lose energy and it was reached by the German Fabian Wegmann. But in San Fermo della Battaglia, Bettini attacked once again and left his opponents behind him. The Spanish, Samuel Sanchez, reached the second place, while Wegmann followed him with the third. The Giro di Lombardia was as exciting as expected.
This year it celebrated 100 years of competence and closed with a flourish Europe 2006 cycling season. But no one was as significant as for Paolo Il Grillo Bettini, because with this race, and especially with his victory, it gave honours to his beloved brother Sauro. During the race, I felt good and I decided that I wanted to win in memory of Sauro not only was in competition today the person who used to encourage me from the edge of the road more, can’t do it but the was with me today. I not won by chance, explained Il Grillo.