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Good News for Team Fisher!
Cyclingnews article

Pezzo returns By Tim Maloney,

European Editor, Cyclingnews

Cyclingnews caught up with Paola Pezzo this week after she competed in her first official cycling event since 2001. Pezzo rode in the Gran Fondo Laigueglia, a mountain bike marathon event but was not an "official" participant.  "Since it was my first time in a long time in an event, I had some trouble keeping up on the first climb," Pezzo told Cyclingnews, "but once we hit the technical single track I was happy."  Pezzo finished the GF Laigueglia "about 100th" out of 800 riders and was was satisfied with her first semi-competitive outing in years.  Paola and her long time companion and coach Paolo Rosola had a child last November and now that Kevin is four months old, Paola is able to get out and train again. She has re-signed with Gary Fisher Bicycles for 2003, her long-time sponsor.  

paola1.jpg

The week before Laigueglia, Pezzo took part in a Italian Cycling Federation mountain bike team training camp. Italian team manager Alfonso Morelli wanted Pezzo to participate at least to begin the process towards potentially competing in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. "I have to follow certain protocols established the Italian Olympic team to even be eligible to be selected," explained Pezzo. "I'm not certain what I'll do next year, but I just want to ride again."   Pezzo will ride her own Gran Fondo Paola Pezzo on Sunday April 20 in Garda and will focus on her build-up to the first ever World Marathon  Championship in Lugano, Switzerland on August 31. "I'm the spokesperson for the World MTB Championships in Lugano and this marathon championship seems like a lot of fun," said Pezzo. "After that, I'll see if I want to make all the sacrifices and go through the suffering that it will take to make a competitive comeback." With two Olympic MTB cross-country gold medals already, if Pezzo does decide to make her return, she should be a strong contender for a third Olympic MTB cross-country medal.

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