Ballan Wins, Cunego Second
It is not Paolo Bettini at the top step of the podium, but another Italian Alessandro Ballan with teammate Damiano Cunego in second at the World Championships in Varese, Italy.
The winning move came from a breakaway of 12 that had a decent enough gap and a selection of enough big names to last. Three Italians were featured in the break including Davide Rebellin, Damiano Cunego and Ballan. Others in the break were Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain who ever present in front and Matt Breschel who placed third. Since Italy had the numbers and the home turf advantage, the rest of the breakaway companions woul dnot help much. Riders took turns attacking and let the Italians chase. Later on the Italians took control launching progressive attacks to keep the rest of the break on their heels. Rebellin and Cunego could not get much daylight when they would attack.
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Finally with about 2km to go Ballan launched a counter attack that the rest of the break could not respond to. Ballan was off and had enough time to cross the line with his hands in the air. Meanwhile in the main peloton Erik Zabel and Paolo Bettini rode in at a tourist pace with Bettini celebrating Ballans win and waving to the fans to finish out his last race.
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