Alessandro Ballan is expected to be released from a Spanish hospital early next week, completing another stage of his recovery from a high-speed crash during training in that country last month.
BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said special medical transport is being arranged for Ballan's return to his home in Italy. Since the accident on Dec. 20, the former world road champion has endured surgery to repair a double fracture of his left leg, had his spleen removed and nursed a broken rib. "Once Alessandro is back in Italy, we'll make sure everything went well during the flight," Testa said. "Depending on the outcome of that evaluation, we can determine the next step in his rehabilitation."
Ballan said he is especially anxious to be re-united with his two daughters. His wife, Daniela, has been with him since the day after the crash but his daughters have been in the care of their grandmother. "This has been particularly difficult because it's been a long time since I've been home," Ballan 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 although Ballan will be unable to join his teammates and management and staff at Friday's media day in Belgium, special arrangements will be made to make sure he is a part of the activities. "We are extremely pleased at the rapid progress that Alessandro has accomplished while under the excellent care of the Hospital Dénia Marina Salud," Ochowicz said. "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."