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Alessandro Ballan is the Tour de Pologne's defending champion. (Tim de Waele photo.)
Alessandro Ballan is the Tour de Pologne's defending champion. (Tim de Waele photo.)

Tour de Pologne, Stage 4: Ballan Up To Third

4. August 2010

Cieszyn, Poland

Former world road champion Alessandro Ballan climbed into the third overall at the Tour de Pologne after placing third Wednesday on a tricky, cobblestoned run-in to the line. The good result for the BMC Racing Team was offset by the loss of teammate Michael Schär, who crashed out of the race.

Breakaway Was Dangerous
Ballan was part of a group of 55 riders that separated on a small climb on the final lap of the finish circuit of the 178-kilometer race. But the Italian couldn't come around Lampre-Farnese Vini teammates Mirco Lorenzetto and Grega Bole, who finished 1-2, respectively. "It was a perfect day for me," Ballan said. "I had the entire team working well for me because the three riders (Dominique Rollin, Johnny Hoogerland and Cameron Meyer) who were away in the breakaway earlier were dangerous." Ballan is eight seconds off the lead of Lorenzetto, who leads his teammate Bole by seven seconds.

Schär Crashes Out
BMC Racing Team's Michael Schär crashed in the feed zone between the day's second and third climbs when his rear tire punctured as he was grabbing a mussette bag. The Swiss struck a pole and injured his left shoulder and elbow. "He has ligament damage to his left clavicle," BMC Racing Team Dr. Dario Spinelli said. "But there appears to be no broken bones."

Uphill Finish Thursday
Thursday's stage is 149 km and includes a circuit climb that is summited five times before an uphill finish in Ustron. BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Fabio Baldato said the loss of Schär is disappointing. "Michael was a very important rider who we don't have for the coming days," Baldato said. "The finish climb tomorrow is going to be important. But I'm confident. Alessandro has good energy."