By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor
After 42 days in the hospital, Fred Mengoni is going home. Friday night will be Mengoni’s last at St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida. Saturday a friend will drive him back to his home in New York City.
“I am a lucky guy. I could have been dead,” said Mengoni, who is considered one of American cycling’s greatest patrons. “For a month I couldn’t even talk. Now I’m walking and talking. I feel great.”
Back in early January, the 77-year-old Italian born Mengoni crashed his bicycle while trying to avoid an oncoming car. The incident left Mengoni with a broken pelvis, broken ribs, and a severe concussion. The driver of the car did not stop and was never caught.
“People are crazy,” Mengoni said. “The guy knocked me down and he doesn’t even stop. It was only God that helped me.”
The list of riders Mengoni’s influenced is a who’s who of American cycling, including Greg LeMond, Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie, Steve Bauer, Steve Larsen, and Mike McCarthy. Mengoni also sponsors the GS Mengoni team, the Mengoni GP race, and an amateur cycling team in Italy.
“I am very happy to be going home,” he said.