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Paolo Bettini Awarded “Premio Sport”
By Staff
Date: 1/10/2009
Paolo Bettini Awarded “Premio Sport”

Paolo Bettini Awarded “Premio Sport”
Retired Olympic and World Champion Honored in Camaiore...  "I'm returning to race... by car"

"I’m just training for a new challenge. I will race in the rally together with Franco Ballerini", former Olympic Champion said during "Premio Sport" awards. "I respect Armstrong's decision or anyone else to come back, but all of them have to get ready to face difficulties"

Paolo receives his award.

More than five hundred students welcomed Italian Paolo Bettini in Camaiore, Lucca, as the former Olympic Champion was awarded the prestigious “Premio Sport”, yesterday Thursday January 8th.

A moved Bettini was celebrated by a very big crowd, together with Italian coach Franco Ballerini, with whom Bettini built his impressive achievements wearing the “maglia azzurra”. Camaiore also hosted Alfredo Martini, one of the most beloved national coach in Italy, and Giuliano Bettini, Paolo’s father.

Ever popular Paolo Bettini and his young fans.

At the beginning of the celebration, Bettini could see a video-story of his career, starting from the first year as professional up to the World’s in Varese 2008, his last road race.

“I’m so proud about my career," stated Bettini. "and I guess I was able to be a good all rounder cyclist. With the victory in the 2000 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, I’ve understood that my life could be changed. And it happened”.

About his forthcoming program, Bettini said that he has no intention to make a comeback to racing like Armstrong. “I respect all the riders who want to come back to competition, but I’m sure they will have to face more difficulties. I heard that Michele Bartoli wants to return as well. It will be not easy, but it’s his choice. Anyway, I’m training a lot in this period, but not on my bike. I’m getting ready to race with cars in rally competitions together with my friend Franco Ballerini”.

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