Ballan: The Mànie will be felt

Italian Alessandro Ballan (Lampre)

Italian Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

By Gregor Brown in San Benedetto del Tronto

2007 Ronde van Vlaanderen winner, Alessandro Ballan, is showing superb form in light of the upcoming Classics. The 28 year-old Italian from Castelveneto will try his luck in Milano-Sanremo on Saturday before departing to his preferred races in the north.

"My condition is there," he confirmed the morning of Tirreno-Adriatico's final stage, stage seven in San Benedetto del Tronto. "I was unfortunate yesterday [flat tire - ed.], but I am satisfied because I am going strong."

Ballan will be a Team Lampre co-captain along with Danilo Napolitano for the 298-kilometre race to Italy's Ligurian coast. "I will certainly try something on Saturday. We are in Italy – Sanremo for an Italian means everything. I will try."

He reckons the inclusion of the additional climb, Le Mànie, although 94 kilometres before the finish, will be felt in the legs of the sprinters. "There is that extra climb, and it has become harder for the sprinters this year. Even if that climb comes early, it will remain in the legs. We will see if there are the protagonists like two years ago, who will want to work in an escape based off the Poggio."

Ballan pointed towards his training partners, Filippo Pozzato and Davide Rebellin, as the guys to follow in the race's finale. "I will follow 'Pippo' [Pozzato], and the riders who come from the Paris-Nice, like Rebellin."

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