Alessandro Ballan, who became world champion on Sunday in his native Italy, has never raced the Giro d'Italia before. But Ballan is giving it some serious thought for 2009.
The win on Sunday doesn't necessarily add to his motivation. "The idea of riding the Giro was already in my head before the World Championships," Ballan told Gazzetta dello Sport.
But the win on Sunday could add some importance to riding his country's national tour. "It would be bellissimo if the Italian tifosi could see me in the jersey of the world champion. I think in the stages of the Giro I could feel the same emotions as on Sunday in Varese." And those emotions were pretty high with Ballan. "It is the dream of every rider."
Ballan has shown that he is a versatile rider who doesn't need to shy away from bad weather or high mountains. In the Vuelta a España, he won the stage to La Rabassa in Andorra. With his solo win he took over the yellow jersey, even though it was only for one day. But the good performance in the Vuelta is another sign that Ballan may debut in the Giro, at the ripe age of 28.
Ballan won't have wait until the Giro to display his rainbow jersey, though. His friend Filippo Pozzato, who was left out of the Italian team, called Ballan to congratulate him on the win. "I'll see you on Tuesday in training and I recommend you wear the rainbow jersey!"