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Ballan frustrated

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital)

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) (Image credit: Sirotti)

Lampre-Fondital's Alessandro Ballan came close to a Tour stage win in Carcassonne, but was unable to withstand Yaroslav Popovych's relentless attacking in the final 8 km. Ballan finished second in the stage ahead of Oscar Freire and Christophe Le Mevel, but Popovych took home the major prize.

"It's a pity," said Ballan. "I'm here at the Tour aiming for a victory and today everything was right to obtain it. In the finale, Freire and Popovych played against me and I had to follow them several times. If there would have been Le Mevel there, he could have helped us, but he wasn't there."

Lampre had some consolation with the award of the most combative rider of the day going to Daniele Bennati, who was very active early on in the stage.

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