Cummings goes close in Laigueglia

The second race of the Italian season is won by Lampre's Alessandro Ballan, who just holds of Britai

The second race of the Italian season is won by Lampre's Alessandro Ballan, who just holds of Britai

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Britain's Steve Cummings went close to the biggest win of his road career when he finished second to Lampre's Alessandro Ballan in today's Trofeo Laigueglia. The pair were part of a five-rider break that fought out the finish in the Italian resort.

The five broke clear of 10 other riders on the Passo del Balestrino, the last of the race's three climbs. With 500 metres left, Pietro Caucchioli made the first move for the line, but was quickly swamped by his rivals, from whom Ballan went clear for the third win of his career.

"To win in my second seasonal race is fantastic," said Ballan. "I didn't expect to be so competitive, especially against cyclists who are fitter than me. But on the last climb I followed all the attacks and thought I had a good chance of winning. Then, with a good sprint, I succeeded in doing just that and getting this important victory."

1 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 183km in 4.33.15 (40.18kph)
2 Steve Cummings (GB) Landbouwkrediet
3 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone
4 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Milram
5 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Crdit Agricole
6 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Cofidis 0.32
7 Giampaolo Cheula (Ita) Barloworld 1.06
8 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Milram
9 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Lampre
10 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step

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