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Alessandro Ballan (left) and Mauro Santambrogio give Assistant Director Michael Sayers the rundown after the race.
Alessandro Ballan (left) and Mauro Santambrogio give Assistant Director Michael Sayers the rundown after the race.

Ballan, Santambrogio Figure In Montreal Finale

12. september 2010

Montreal, Canada

Alessandro Ballan finished 10th and Mauro Santambrogio was 15th for the BMC Racing Team in Sunday's tortuous Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal – the second of two ProTour races in Canada.

Santambrogio Attacks

The two Italians were among six riders from the BMC Racing Team who were still in contention with one lap of the 12.6-kilometer circuit to go. But an attack by eventual winner Robert Gesink (Rabobank) on the longer of the two climbs on the course split the bunch. Santambrogio was part of a small group that gave chase. Ballan was able to stay in the dwindling group while U.S. national champion George Hincapie dropped back. "I attacked after Gesink went because I knew Alessandro would be better in the sprint if we regrouped," Santambrogio said.

Empty At The End
Coming into the final kilometer – with Gesink on his way to the win – Ballan was well-positioned for the sprint for second. But the leg-breaking climb up the final 400 meters after a 180-degree turn proved to be too much for the past world road champion after 193 kilometers. "I had good condition today, but it was a very, very hard race. I had nothing left at the end," he said.