Ballan Wins World Championship Road Race
Alessandro Ballan (Italy) is the world road race champion.
a domestique at the service of Paolo Bettini. Bettini was the two-time defending champion who had told his teammates the night before the race that the world championship would be his farewell to cycling. He was on everyone’s list of favorites.
Being on everyone’s list of favorites, however, proved to be the master’s undoing. Bettini made several moves but found that many other riders, particularly the Spaniards, were marking him. That left the door open for Ballan.
Ballan was easy to overlook on an Italian squad that was full to overflowing with talent. However, a close look would have revealed him as a possible winner. Last year, the Italian won the Three Days of De Panne, the Tour of Flanders, and the Vattenfall Cyclassics. Ballan won Stage 7 of the 2008 Vuelta a Espana, which showed that he was finding his form. Ballan is unlikely to be overlooked again.
Ballan will begin his reign as world champion on October 18 at the Tour of Lombardy. How will he fare? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!