Cycling is a new challenge for Zanardi. Two years after the crash that claimed his legs, he returned to racing and he only retired from racing three years ago. Personally, I find this very uplifting. I can’t imagine suffering a devastating injury such as Zanardi then finding the will to get up and get going again. I like to think I would and I hope I would because I just hate to lose, especially to myself. So my hat goes off to Mr. Z. you're a credit to the human race (as are all the paralympians).
I do have say that Zanardi did have a small advantage for the race seeing as it took place at Brands Hatch, where he was once the lap record holder in Formula 3000. :-)