Injuries healed and form improving, Ballan to make racing return this week
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Monday, June 03, 2013

Injuries healed and form improving, Ballan to make racing return this week

by Shane Stokes at 6:47 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
 
Italian bounces back from extensive injuries, will ride in the GP Kanton Aargau-Gippingen on Thursday

Alessandro BallanFormer world champion Alessandro Ballan has said that he is exited about the thoughts of finally returning to competition on Thursday, almost six months after he suffered a bad crash on December 19th.

The Italian fell while descending the Col de Rates climb toward the end of a four-hour training ride with the BMC Racing Team. He suffered a double fracture to his left leg plus a fractured rib. He also had a small puncture in his lung, plus damage to his spleen which necessitated its removal.

After being released from hospital in January, he was readmitted the following month and had his appendix removed. Now, after being able to gradually resume training, he’s mentally raring to go. He’ll return in Thursday’s GP Kanton Aargau-Gippingen single day race.

“I feel like a child who has been waiting for a toy for a long time,” he said on Monday. “I feel good and have been living and training at altitude for twelve days, so my sensations are good. But I don't know how I will do in the races because of the changes of pace. My goal is simply to finish.”

Ballan, who won his world title in 2008, was third in both Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders last year. He was also winner of the Giro di Toscana plus a stage in the Eneco Tour. His ambition of having a stronger season again in 2013 was badly affected by his crash but BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri is looking forward to seeing him pin a number on again.

“It will be great to have him there and we have a team that can really do something,” he said. "Greg Van Avermaet is riding well and hopefully some of the guys who did the Giro d'Italia are coming out of it in good condition.”

Aside from Ballan and Van Avermaet, the team will also feature Swiss riders Mathias Frank, Martin Kohler, Michael Schär and Danilo Wyss, plus the Briton Adam Blyth and the Dane Sebastian Lander.

BMC Racing Team for GP Kanton Aargau-Gippingen (June 6):

Alessandro Ballan (ITA), Adam Blythe (GBR), Mathias Frank (SUI), Martin Kohler (SUI), Sebastian Lander (DEN), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).

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