Just eight weeks after he was badly injured in a bike crash, top multi-sport athlete Terenzo Bozzone has set his sights on competing at the Ironman World Championship.
He was concussed and received injuries to his face and a hand in the crash on a rural road in northwest Auckland in the mid-afternoon of Tuesday, July 3. Knocked unconscious, he awoke in Auckland City Hospital and has had surgery on his hand and face.
Last week, the 33-year-old professional athlete told the Herald on Sunday he would be heading overseas soon.
"I'm putting all my effort and time into getting back on the horse and getting going for the Ironman World Champs in six and a half weeks."
The Ironman World Championship is in Hawaii on October 13. Bozzone is ranked fourth in the qualifications for the event.
He said he was on his way back to full training, with some difficulty.
"It's two steps forward, one step back."
When he regained consciousness in hospital, he had no memory of what had happened, but he is certain a motor vehicle must have been involved because of the injuries he suffered and the damage to his bike. It was broken into two pieces.
The accident happened on Waitakere Rd near Kumeu, a section of road with which he is very familiar.
He had returned to look at the site where he was found and said that although there was little shoulder to the road, it was straight, had no pot holes and was quiet and safe.
"Something definitely happened with a vehicle. The police were on that page as well," he claimed.
Bozzone has previously written on social media of his disappointment that the "driver of the vehicle that collided with me" has not contacted the police.
Police documents provided to the Herald under the Official Information Act showed officers told Bozzone it was more likely he crashed into a stationary vehicle.
Detective Senior Sergeant Jason McIntosh, of the Waitematā police, said: "While the damage to the bicycle would indicate that a vehicle was possibly involved, unfortunately due to the fact the victim has no memory of the incident and there were no eye-witness accounts of the incident, we have been unable to confirm or rule out that a vehicle was involved in the crash.
"However, through our inquiries made at the time, we were able to rule out the involvement of a truck which was seen near the crash scene around the time of the crash.
"While this is no longer an active investigation, should anyone come forward to police with new information about this incident, this will be assessed and dealt with appropriately and we would encourage them to contact us."
McIntosh has previously said the police had concluded, after examining the scene and interviewing the truck driver, that there was no evidence that truck was involved in the crash.
But Bozzone yesterday said: "I am a world class professional athlete and an extremely skilled bike rider – and I do not ride into the back of stationery vehicles."
Bozzone has won more than 30 international sporting titles, including 23 in half-Ironman triathlons.