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Alessandro Ballan has completed two of three stage races he has competed in, including the Tour of Austria (pictured). (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
Alessandro Ballan has completed two of three stage races he has competed in, including the Tour of Austria (pictured). (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

BMC Racing Team's Ballan To Undergo Surgery

18. August 2013

Past world road champion Alessandro Ballan will need surgery to correct complications that have hindered his comeback from past medical procedures, BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa announced Sunday.

Consulting With Specialists
Ballan has raced only 15 times after missing the first six months of the season. "Alessandro hasn't had a break from bad luck after his injury," Dr. Testa said. "He's been having reoccurring issues with his health and we hope this surgery finally brings an end to it." Most recently, Ballan withdrew from the Tour de Wallonie last month, complaining of abdominal pain. "He spent two days in a hospital in Belgium undergoing observation and we eventually cleared him to return to racing," Dr. Testa said. "But further investigation has determined he will need surgery to release the adhesions on his abdomen developed after the previous surgeries." Dr. Testa said the BMC Racing Team's medical staff is consulting with specialists in Italy and the United States. The surgery will be performed in the next two or three weeks, he said.

Challenging Time
Ballan said the more-than-eight-month ordeal has been as challenging as any bicycle race in his 10-year professional career. "I was happy with my recovery after the crash in Denia, but then sad when I had more problems," he said. "But I am strong and I know after this last surgery I will be as healthy before. This experience has brought me closer to my family and friends and will make me stronger in life as well." BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said the team has missed the presence of Ballan, who won two races last year: the final stage of the Eneco Tour of Benelux and the one-day Giro della Toscana. "We certainly missed Alessandro in the spring classics and we were hoping he would be healthy by this time," Ochowicz said. "We wish him a speedy recovery and know he is in the best of care." Dr. Testa said there is no timetable for Ballan to return to competition until after the surgery is performed.