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Alessandro Ballan
Alessandro Ballan 2007
Alessandro Ballan 2007
Personal information
Full name Alessandro Ballan
Nickname Bontempino
Date of birth November 6, 1979 (1979-11-06) (age 30)
Country  Italy
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 72 kg (160 lb)
Team information
Current team BMC Racing Team
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type Classics specialist
Professional team(s)1
2004–2009
2010–
Lampre
BMC Racing Team
Major wins
MaillotMundial.PNG 2008 UCI Road World Championships
Ronde van Vlaanderen (2007)
Three Days of De Panne (2007)
Trofeo Laigueglia (2006)
Vattenfall Cyclassics (2007)
Tour de Pologne (2009)

Vuelta a España, 1 stage

Infobox last updated on:
2008-09-28

1 Team names given are those prevailing
at time of rider beginning association with that team.

Alessandro Ballan (born November 6, 1979 in Castelfranco Veneto, Veneto) is an Italian professional road bicycle racer for UCI Professional Continental team BMC Racing Team, and is a former world champion. Although he possesses a frame that is usually more associated with climbing, Ballan has established himself as a leading spring classics contender in recent years. His nickname, Bontempino, is a diminutive reference to Guido Bontempi, to whom he bears a resemblance.[1]

Contents

Career

Ballan turned professional in 2004 with the Lampre team. Despite a decent amateur career, Ballan was not sought after by professional teams, and required a little bit of help to secure a professional contract.[1] In his first season, Ballan worked as a domestique for Romāns Vainšteins and Gianluca Bortolami. In 2005, Ballan was given the opportunity to aim for high placings in the spring classics and achieved a stage victory and second overall in the Three Days of De Panne[2], along with sixth place in the Ronde van Vlaanderen[3], having attacked the leading group with 37 km to go. Later in the season, he achieved his first ProTour victory in taking stage 4 of the Eneco Tour of Benelux[4].

In 2006, Ballan started his spring classics campaign as a highly rated contender, given his performances in 2005 and his success in the warm-up races in winning the Trofeo Laigueglia[5], a second place to Tom Boonen in the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen[6] and third overall at the Tirreno-Adriatico.[7] Ballan was a leading protagonist in the classics: he took fifth at the Ronde van Vlaanderen[8] and followed this with third at Paris-Roubaix, following the disqualifications of Peter Van Petegem, Vladimir Gusev and Leif Hoste.[9] Later in the season, Ballan further proved his talent with a second placing in stage 12 of the Tour de France[10] and a third place overall in the Tour of Poland.[11] Ballan finished in sixth place in the individual rankings of the 2006 UCI ProTour.[12]

In 2007 Ballan suffered a broken collarbone during Tirreno-Adriatico. Despite this injury, Ballan worked hard in Milan-Sanremo, although Ballan's teamleader Daniele Bennati didn't win the race. Nearly two weeks later, Ballan won the Three Days of De Panne after an escape during stage 1. Ballan didn't win the stage, but beat his nearest opponent Luca Paolini during the closing time trial, in which Ballan finished 10. On April 8, Ballan won the Ronde van Vlaanderen in a close sprint finish ahead of local favourite Leif Hoste of Belgium. Ballan is the first Italian to win the Ronde van Vlaanderen and the Three Days of De Panne in the same season. On August 19, he won the Vattenfall Cyclassics with an attack in the final kilometer, holding off all of the sprinters, including former winner Oscar Freire and hot young German sprinter Gerald Ciolek, to take his second one-day classic of the season.

His spring of 2008 wasn't as prolific as 2007 although he was involved in the decisive break of Paris-Roubaix and rode hard to a third place behind past winners Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara together with whom he entered the famous Roubaix veledrome losing out in a sprint to the line. This came a week after a fourth place in defence of his Ronde van Vlaanderen crown. He again opted to skip his home tour - the Giro d'Italia, but raced in both the other grand tours - Tour de France and Vuelta a España, winning a mountain stage and wearing the leader's jersey in the latter.[13]

In September 2008 Ballan won the UCI Road Race World Championships. In a race in which 2007 champion and Italian team mate Paolo Bettini was favourite, Ballan was again involved in the decisive break on the final lap of the undulating Varese circuit. From a group of 12 riders, including 2 Italia team mates Damiano Cunego and Davide Rebellin, Ballan attacked from 1500 metres out and held off the sprint to win by 3 seconds in front of his home crowd.[14]

As if suffering from the Rainbow jersey curse, Ballan was diagnosed with cytomegalovirus in March 2009 and as a result was unable to contest that year's Spring Classics and Giro. During the Tour he also performed mediocre, only coming into the picture in the 19th stage as part of a breakaway which was caught before the finish line [15].

In August 2009, he won the Tour of Poland.[16] Ballan signed with BMC Racing Team for the 2010 season.[17]

Palmarès

References

  1. ^ a b Maloney, Tim (2005-04-07). "Ballan following in Bartoli's footsteps?" (in English). Cyclingnews.com - First Edition Cycling News for April 7, 2005. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2005/apr05/apr07news. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  2. ^ "KBC Driedaagse van De Panne-Koksijde Results". 2005-03-31. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road.php?id=road/2005/mar05/depanne05/depanne054. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  3. ^ "89th Ronde van Vlaanderen Results". 2005-04-03. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2005/apr05/rvv05/?id=results. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  4. ^ "1st Eneco Tour of Benelux Results". 2005-08-10. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2005/aug05/eneco05/?id=results/eneco054. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  5. ^ "43rd Trofeo Laigueglia Results". 2006-02-14. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road.php?id=road/2006/feb06/laigueglia06. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  6. ^ "49th E3 Prijs Vlaanderen Results". 2006-09-27. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2006/mar06/E3prijs06/?id=results. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  7. ^ "41st Tirreno-Adriatico Results". 2006-03-14. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2006/mar06/tirreno06/?id=results/tirreno067. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  8. ^ "90th Ronde van Vlaanderen Results". 2006-04-02. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2006/apr06/rvv06/?id=results. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  9. ^ "104th Paris-Roubaix Results". 2006-04-09. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2006/apr06/roubaix06/?id=results. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  10. ^ "93rd Tour de France, Stage 12 Results". 2006-07-14. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2006/tour06/?id=results/tour0612. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  11. ^ "63rd Tour of Poland Results". 2006-09-10. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2006/sep06/poland06/?id=results/poland067. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  12. ^ "UCI ProTour Individual Rankings as of 2006-10-14". 2006-12-12. http://www.uciprotour.com/Modules/SUCI/RACES/RaceRanking.asp?MenuId=MTY5Nw&RaceId=MTI3&RankId=ODA&BackLink=%2Ftemplates%2FUCI%2FUCI2%2Flayout%2Easp%3FMenuId%3DMTY5Nw. Retrieved 2006-12-12.  
  13. ^ http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2008//vuelta08/?id=results/vuelta087
  14. ^ http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2008/worlds08/?id=results/worlds086
  15. ^ "World Champion Ballan on track in Roubaix". http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2009/apr09/apr14news2.  
  16. ^ "Italy's Ballan wins Tour of Poland". AFP. 2009-08-09. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gh8cmqvTkbZPyJoJyaKvnXPqElGA. Retrieved 2009-08-10.  
  17. ^ VeloNews.com (2009-09-01). "Hincapie confirms to BMC with Ballan, Kroon, Burghardt". VeloNews. http://www.velonews.com/article/97306/. Retrieved 2009-09-02.  

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Paolo Bettini
UCI Road Race World Champion
2008
Succeeded by
Cadel Evans
Preceded by
Tom Boonen
Ronde van Vlaanderen
2007
Succeeded by
Stijn Devolder
Preceded by
Óscar Freire
Vattenfall Cyclassics
2007
Succeeded by
Robbie McEwen
Preceded by
Jens Voigt
Tour de Pologne
2009
Succeeded by
TBD
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