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Baldato to join Ballan at BMC as directeur sportif?

By:
Gregor Brown
Published:
November 15, 2009, 10:57 GMT,
Updated:
November 15, 2009, 10:08 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, November 15, 2009
Fabio Baldato races in the 2008 Ronde van Vlaanderen

Fabio Baldato races in the 2008 Ronde van Vlaanderen

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Former classics rider may guide Swiss-American team

Italian Fabio Baldato may join team BMC as a directeur sportif, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. He would re-unite with former teammate Alesandro Ballan, who benefited from Baldato's experience to win Ronde van Vlaanderen in 2007.

Baldato retired last year in his 18th year as a professional. He told the Italian newspaper that he has talked with BMC Directeur Sportif John Lelangue about the position.

"It is not official, but you could say it is a good possibility," said Baldato. "The team wants to do different races in Italy and then, for sure, the Northern Classics."

Baldato crashed in Eneco Tour's stage four last year, August 24. He fractured his collarbone and hip, which helped put a stop to his career.

His career includes 42 wins – twice second in Ronde van Vlaanderen, three stages wins in the Giro d'Italia, two in the Vuelta a España and two in the Tour de France. His best result in Paris-Roubaix came in 1994, when he finished second, under snowstorms, behind winner Andrei Tchmil.

He helped Ballan 14 years later at team Lampre to join the winning move of Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara, and finish an eventual third place. Ballan signed a contract in September to leave Lampre and join BMC for the next two seasons.

"The [BMC] team already seems at a high level, like Quick Step for example," continued Baldato.

The team also announced this month that World Champion Cadel Evans will join and lead in the Grand Tours.

Baldato's teams: Lampre (2008), Lampre-Fondital (2007), Tenax-Salmilano (2006), Fassa Bortolo (2005), Alessio-Bianchi (2004), Alessio (2003), Fassa Bortolo (2000-2), Ballan-Alessio (1999), Riso Scotti (1998), MG-Technogym (1995-7), GB-MG (1992-4) and Del Tongo (1991).

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