“The challenge is not with others, but with myself. I react with the power of dreams” – OA Sport

We reached out by phone in Belluno (where her volleyball player boyfriend Alessandro Graziani is training) Letizia Paternoster, He is slowly recovering after the bad accident that occurred on the evening of August 13th during the European Track Championships in Monaco. The Italian from Trentino and one of the stars of our women’s movement was battling with 25 other opponents in the elimination (who was the world champion in her specialty). After about fifteen laps, the explosion occurred, stowed at a rate of 50 times an hour by the Polish woman who followed her: “I’m very good, but I was better. You have to react to get back into the saddle stronger than before. The recovery is going well, I do physical therapy every day and in a couple of days I will understand how to recover slowly. I can’t move my arm for a month because they put seven screws and a plate in my wishbone which I split into four different parts.“.

Leticia, do you remember anything about the accident?

“I don’t remember anything, not until the next day.”

You are young, but you already had to deal with a huge number of misfortunes and injuries. What gives you the strength to start over each time?

“I just accepted it. I am thinking about recovering and getting back on my bike ASAP. I find strength in my dreams, my biggest dream is to win great races and great events. I always have a target ready and so it becomes easier to respond.”

In the youth categories, I was one of the best cyclists in our movement, and in recent years many girls who win both on the road and on the track have come out. Do you think about it now and then and is it an incentive to improve more?

“It is definitely a huge motivation and I am glad to see so many high-ranking girls. The more we are, the better.”

You are on the track a group of very strong girls. How do you live this internal competition in light of the upcoming Olympics?

“The challenge is with myself and not with others. I think I have the numbers to be able to be in Paris 2024, so the goal is to improve myself to be able to go beyond my limits.”

When do you think you can get back to racing?

“My goal is to be able to get back on track as quickly as possible, since there is less pressure than there is on the road. I would like to get back to the World Championships on track in Paris, even if I know it will be difficult.”

After that accident, do you think you’d be afraid to get back on track?

“No, because I don’t remember anything.”

Do you see yourself in your future as more than just a pietard or a road racer?

“Both. Next year will be a good starting point for me to be able to improve a lot on the road as I will be riding with Bike-Exchange.”

What is your relationship with Elisa Balsamo?

“A beautiful professional relationship. I respect and admire Elissa very much.”

How do you feel with Marco Villa, your coach this year?

“I feel good, he is a really good coach. He has a lot of experience and gives us a lot. I hear him a lot these days and I feel he is very close.”

Photo: La Presse