BMC’s Ballan and QuickStep’s Devolder plus Weylandts to target Tour of Poland
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Friday, July 30, 2010

BMC’s Ballan and QuickStep’s Devolder plus Weylandts to target Tour of Poland

by Conal Andrews at 10:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Big clash expected in ProTour event

Stijn Devolder2009 race winner Alessandro Ballan will lead a strong lineup in the Tour of Poland, which begins in Sochaczew this Sunday.

The Italian showed his improving form with third in the national road championships in June and then second on stage 15 of the Tour de France. His directeur sportif Jean Lelangue believes he is in the right condition to fight for a second consecutive title in Poland.

“He's coming out of the Tour in really good shape,” the Belgian said of the defending champion. “Of course everyone will be looking to him, so he won't have the same freedom as last year. But last year, don't forget he was wearing the rainbow jersey.”

Ballan will have a good supporting team, with Alexander Kristoff, Mauro Santambrogio, Florian Stalder, Jackson Stewart, Danilo Wyss and Chris Butler backing him up.

Amongst those who could challenge him is double Tour of Flanders winner Stijn Devolder (Quick Step). He won the Tour of Belgium at the end of May, answering his team’s criticisms during the Classics season, and then took the Belgian road title last month. Providing he is motivated, Devolder could certainly match Ballan and challenge for the overall title.

Meanwhile his team-mate Wouter Weylandt is expected to be one of the quickest in the sprints, and will go head to head with the likes of Andre Greipel (HTC Columbia). Weylandt showed his speed when he took a stage of the Giro this season, and is keen to clock up more success.

“At the Tour de Pologne, presumably there will be many sprints, in which Wouter Weylandt, who’s already proven himself as a high level sprinter, will try to give it his best,” said directeur sportif Rik Van Slycke. “In the Polish race there will also be some challenging arrivals, with space for long breakaways, where expert riders like Devolder but also the young riders like Cataldo and Malacarne can seize their chance to shine.”

Devolder and Weylandt will be joined by Dario Cataldo, David Malacarne, Andrei Kunitski, Branislau Samoilau and Thomas Vedel Kvist.

The ProTour race is seven stages long and totals 1,276 kilometres. It begins with a 175.1 kilometre stage to Warsaw, and concludes next Saturday in Krakow.


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