By Gregor Brown in Stuttgart
The oldest of the nine men that made up Italy's Squadra Azzurra for the Road World Championships proved to be the key to the success of Paolo Bettini. He made one of the key escapes mid-race, and continued his work once the groups rejoined.
"We read the race well. It was a difficult course," said Franco Ballerini. "Alessandro Bertolini was supreme like Cunego, like [Davide] Rebellin in the finale with the others. I am happy for Alessandro, he showed his maturity and raised a level as a professional. He gave me his heart."
Overall Ballerini was pleased with the day that brought him his third World tile. "We were at a level to benefit from our talents while putting our rivals in difficulties. We were great."