Gasparotto hits truck while training for Amstel defense

cycling, Astana, Amstel Gold Race, Enrico Gasparotto
Enrico Gasparotto win the 2012 Amstel Gold Race (AAP)

Defending Amstel Gold Race champion Enrico Gasparotto escaped injury after he hit a truck while motor pacing in Italy.

Gasparotto was training near Lake Como, with Astana Sporting Director Director Stefano Zanini ahead on a scooter, when a truck pulled out of a driveway unexpectedly.

Zanini was able to brake and avoid a collision, but Gasparotto crashed into the truck and then onto the road.

"It was impossible to brake. We were going 45 maybe 50k on a little bit of a descent, and it was impossible not to crash," said Gasparotto.

"I was very, very lucky that there was no real damage. My body is a little bit hurt, and my bike was not so good. I have a little bit of pain right now, but today is Thursday, and I can go to the osteopath tonight and everything should be good by Sunday,"

Zanini said he was angry at the driver, but happy that Gasparotto emerged without any significant injuries.

"The crash happened in the first hour of training, and we stopped to yell at the driver for about 20 minutes. But Gaspa got back on his bike and rode at the same level for the rest of the training session," said Zanini.

Gasparotto, who said he remained focused on the Amstel Gold Race and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, was concerned that Zanini would end up in a physical altercation with the driver.

"For me this is the most important week of the year, and I want to have good races in the Ardennes, so I continued my training session and that was all I could do," said Gasparotto.

"I yelled at the driver that this is my job, I don't go out on the bike just for fun, and he has no idea the sacrifices we make to be professionals.

"But Zaza is a big man and he was really angry, and I really thought he was going to hit him."

Gasparotto will be supported at the Amstel Gold Race by Jakob Fuglsang, Francesco Gavazzi, Andriy Grivko, Maxim Iglinskiy, Alexey Lutsenko, Simone Ponzi and Kevin Seeldraeyers.

The Amstel Gold Race will be broadcast LIVE to Eastern states from 10:30pm Sunday 14 April SBS ONE, with live streaming online here at Cycling Central.

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