Ballan, Hincapie, Burghardt, Kroon to lead in Italy
BMC Racing Team will ride the final third of the Milan-San Remo course this week as they prepare for their debut start in the Italian Classic on Saturday.
The team have pegged their hopes on an aggressive race strategy, naming Alessandro Ballan, George Hincapie, Marcus Burghardt and Karsten Kroon as their leaders for the race.
"It can be a selective race or it can be one for the sprinters," said BMC Sports Director John Lelangue. "This is a race that you really have to learn, so we will do a reconnaissance of the last 80 kilometres so we’re ready for the final climbs and the last 10 kilometres of downhill off the Poggio."
Of the four riders BMC have named as leaders for the race, only Hincapie and Kroon took part in the event last year, while members of their former teams. Hincapie formed part of defending champion Mark Cavendish's HTC-Columbia squad, while Kroon was the best placed Saxo Bank finisher, in 14th place.
Ballan's eighth place in the 2006 Milan-San Remo is the best previous result of the quartet and he will head into the 2010 event as one of the outsiders likely to attack on the Cipressa or the Poggio climbs. Burghardt's participation will be just the second of his seven year professional career.
US riders Brent Bookwalter and Jeff Louder will form part of the roster, with Swiss Michael Schär and Danilo Wyss rounding out the eight-man line-up.