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Alessandro Ballan (BMC) before the stage
Crash in final sprint injures Italian's knee
A dramatic crash in the finale of the Tour of Poland's second stage has ended the race for Italian Alessandro Ballan. The BMC rider was taken down in a mass pile-up inside the final three kilometers when the rider on the front of the peloton veered suddenly, taking down part of the BMC lead-out train and a dozen more riders.
Cyclingnews understands the BMC Team talked to the UCI commissaire regarding the incident. TV pictures show an Astana rider suddenly shifting to his right. "It was a domino effect", BMC directeur sportif Noel Dejonckheere said to Cyclingnews.
Danilo Wyss, who was directly behind the Astana rider, described the crash in a press release from the BMC team. "It was slightly downhill, so it was very fast," Wyss said. "He went right and I had to go right as well."
Alexander Kristoff, who took second on the opening stage on Sunday, was behind Wyss and was the first rider to go down in the incident, which also took out Ballan, Omega Pharma-Lotto rider Bart De Clerq and Blazej Janiakczyk (CCC Polsat Polkowice). The latter also pulled out of the race with broken ribs.
All three riders went to the hospital for examinations. X-rays to Ballan's knee did not show any fractures, but the BMC team doctor Scott Major confirmed the injury was too severe for the 2009 Tour of Poland winner to continue. "Alessandro has a deep abrasion and how soon he can come back depends on how well it will close."