Date of birth: 06/11/1979
Previous teams: Lampre NGC (2004-2009)
Alessandro Ballan career profile
One of the most versatile and talented riders in the professional peloton, Alessandro Ballan became just the 15th Italian rider to win the World Championships in 2008, since Alfredo Binda won the first ever Worlds in 1927.
Turning professional in 2004 for the Lampre team, Ballan soon made a name for himself in the brutally tough races in Northern Europe in the early part of the season, winning a stage and second overall at the Three Days of De Panne as well as sixth at the Tour of Flanders in 2005.
Ballan won the prestigious Trofeo Laigueglia in 2006, but it was a fifth at Flanders and third at Paris-Roubaix that confirmed his talent in the Spring Classics.
2007 was Ballan’s finest season to date, finally winning the Tour of Flanders, escaping with Leif Hoste and comfortably beating him in the sprint to the line. A win at the Vattenfall Cyclclassics later in the season meant he entered the 2008 Worlds as one to watch, although the main contenders became preoccupied with Paolo Bettini and he used this to his advantage, escaping alone in the final kilometres.
In his short career, Ballan has earned a reputation as a gentleman and is widely liked throughout the peloton; this is also believed to be one of the reasons why the momentum went out of the chase group at the Worlds.
In addition to a talent in the prestigious one-day races, Ballan is also a talented stage-racer, as he proved by winning one of the hardest mountain stages of the Vuelta in 2008.
Alessandro Ballan results
Tour of Poland; stage five
Tour of Poland; overall
Vuelta a España; stage seven
World road race champion
Three Days of De Panne; overall
Tour of Flanders
Three Days of De Panne; stage one
ENECO Tour; stage four