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Alessandro Ballan added to his list of top 10 finishes at Paris-Roubaix. (photo: BMC Racing Team)
Alessandro Ballan added to his list of top 10 finishes at Paris-Roubaix. (photo: BMC Racing Team)

Alessandro Ballan Sixth At Paris-Roubaix

10. April 2011

Roubaix, France

Separate crashes involving Alessandro Ballan and Manuel Quinziato in the final 17 kilometers Sunday dashed the hopes of the BMC Racing Team at Paris-Roubaix. Despite his mishap, Ballan managed a sixth-place finish on a hot, dusty day.

Favorable Tactics
Quinziato, who had been riding in the lead group for much of the race, hit a motorbike and went down in the fourth-to-last of 27 sectors of cobblestones. "I had missed the right move, but my group was only 20 seconds back and going fast – plus Alessandro was coming up from behind," Quinziato said. Ballan said felt good until crashing in a cobblestone corner with 15 kilometers to go. "It was a good tactic to have Manuel in the front today," he said. "But I know I was strong. (Fabian) Cancellara, (Thor) Hushovd and I were probably the three strongest, but it wasn't to be." Johan Van Summeren (Team Garmin-Cervelo) soloed to the win.

Difficult Day
BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said: "It was a difficult day, not only for us, but also for the other teams. That's part of Roubaix. So on that level, we did well." George Hincapie was participating in the race for a 16th time. The three-time U.S. road champion battled back from a flat tire before the Arenberg Forest before finishing 42nd. "I think I burned a couple matches just getting back and I don't think I was at my best today," Hincapie said.