Filippo Pozzato’s long season of woe and misfortune continued yesterday in bizarre fashion.
While sunning himself on the beach on the Tuscan coast of Italy, the injured classics star was hit by an ultra-light aircraft that crashed into the sand.
Strangely enough the man in the passenger seat of the experimental aircraft was none other than Italian National team coach Paolo Bettini.
While Bettini suffered only an inconsequential injury to his leg, Pozzato took the brunt of the crashing plane. He was rushed to a hospital with lacerations over his entire body and worse, a piece of the propeller had lodged itself in his back, right in the middle of his “Only God Can Judge Me” tattoo.
While initial news reports had Bettini and pilot making an emergency landing in the sea near Piombino, in the province of Livorno, later information made it clear that they had hit the beach — and more specifically, Pozzato.
The Italian coach was overwhelmed with guilt and shocked at the odd turn of events. “I am beyond words. How can this happen? I know Filippo has had a hard year but now this. I had hoped to have him ready for Copenhagen but I was not the pilot,” said Bettini. “When I saw him below, laying on the beach, I said ‘turn Luigi, turn, but it was too late.'”
Pozzato’s Katusha team, showed little sympathy for the oft-injured and hard-luck Italian. “It is his own fault. We suggested another beach and a different day. He did not listen to us,” said team manager Andre Tchmil. “In any case, he should have been training, not working on his tan.
WHen reached for comment at the hospital, Pozzato could only shake his head. “Why don’t these things happen to Gilbert? Even Boonen has better luck than me,” said Pozzato. “The scars are of no importance and thankfully my legs are okay. But the propeller in my back is a concern. Doctors tell me the procedure is complicated.”
Twisted SPoke wishes this classics hard-man a speedy recovery from the his luck.