Alessandro Zanardi has triumphed in the hand bicycle class of the New York Marathon, delivering the biggest result of his post-auto racing career.
The Italian, who lost his legs in an accident at a CART Indy car race in 2001, completed the course in one hour, 13 minutes and 58 seconds, coming home just two seconds ahead of Polish rival Rafal Wilks. Zanardi's success earned widespread praise from a host of motorsports figures on Monday.
Mario Andretti wrote on Twitter: "Alex Zanardi's brilliant win in NYMarathon Hand Cycle class is truly amazing. His never give up attitude is what makes him the champion he is."
IndyCar driver Paul Tracy wrote: "Alex Zanardi is the stud of all studs!!!! All I can say is wow!!!"
Since retiring from international racing at the end of 2009, Zanardi has worked hard on hand cycling and has competed in many international events, as well as setting his sights on representing Italy in the 2012 Paralympics.
In addition to his victory in New York, he won the Venice Marathon in 2009 and the Rome City Marathon last year.