The Italian came close to another victory, at the prestigious Belgian one-day race.
Atrocious weather, pouring rain and sketchy roads – not the conditions the riders would have wanted for the 100th Brussels Cycling Classic (202.6 kilometers), but despite all this, Davide Ballerini put in another solid performance and finished runner-up, racking up Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 65th podium of the season.
Twenty-four hours after soloing to victory at Druivenkoers Overijse, Florian Sénéchal did a magnificent job for the team, masterfully controlling the peloton in the closing kilometers and delivering his teammate in a perfect position. Winner of the last Tour de Pologne stage earlier this month and second at an exciting edition of the Italian Championships, Ballerini came off the wheel of Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea-Samsic) with 150 meters remaining of this tense finale, but ran out of road and ended up second, behind Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix).
Just as he was crossing the line, Bouhanni slipped on the wet road and crashed into Davide, who despite trying to remain on his bike, fell into the barriers. Fortunately, he remounted immediately and was able to go to the podium for the ceremony.
“The team was really great, all the guys pulled for me and made sure of bringing back the breakaway. The final was a bit dangerous with the rain and those roads, and I was maybe a bit too far when the sprint started and paid for that. I am disappointed because I had the legs and wanted to win. On the other hand, I’m happy that there’s nothing serious after that crash. That corner shouldn’t have been there, but fortunately I am ok and can continue my preparation for the next races”, Ballerini said after Sunday’s race.
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