The Team BMC rider Alessandro Ballan is to leave hospital in the next few days following serious injury in a crash on a training ride in Spain.
The 33-year-old Italian 2008 World Road Race Champion spent Christmas in intensive care, after an accident. He was coming down the Coll de Rates climb near Parcent toward the end of a four-hour training ride on December 19, when he crashed at high speed.
According to his team, after being taken to a local hospital by BMC Racing Team Dr. Dario Spinelli, Ballan was diagnosed with a mid-shaft, displaced fracture of his left femur, a fracture of his ninth rib and some abdominal trauma.
According to BMC Racing Team chief medical officer Dr. Max Testa, he will be given special medical transport. After that, a new assessment will be made.
“Once Alessandro is back in Italy, we'll make sure everything went well during the flight,” he told Velonation. “Depending on the outcome of that evaluation, we can determine the next step in his rehabilitation.”
Ballan said that spending Christmas in hospital was difficult.
“This has been particularly difficult because it's been a long time since I've been home,” he said. “Training camp started in mid-December and then I couldn't be home and together with my entire family for the holidays. So I'm very appreciative of the support from Dr. (Dario) Spinelli and the BMC Racing Team and the medical care I received here in Spain. Plus, all the messages of encouragement have given me more strength every day.”
BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said: “We are extremely pleased at the rapid progress that Alessandro has accomplished while under the excellent care of the Hospital Dénia Marina Salud.
“I can't imagine how much joy he and his family will enjoy when they are reunited. We look forward to having him back in the races in the coming months.”
Given the extent of injuries it is highly unlikely that Ballan will be back in action before next summer; a blow not only for the rider but also for his team. The Italian was BMC's most consistent rider in the 2012 Spring Classics finishing 3rd at Paris Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders - a race he won in 2007 and in the top 10 at Milan San Remo.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.