Posted by Editor on 02/7/10
Former Italian road pro Franco Ballerini died earlier today after an automobile accident during his participation in a car rally event in northern Italy. Ballerini is survived by his wife Sabrina and their two children.
The 45 year old rider rode in the professional peloton for 16 years, winning the classic Paris-Roubaix race twice (1995 and 1998), as well as Paris-Brussels (1990) and Omloop Het Volk (1995), before retiring in 2001. After his retirement he became the coach of the national professional men's road team, and was instrumental in the Italian squad becoming a constant favourite at the world championships. Under his guidance, the team took four men's world road titles in the past nine years (Cipollini in 2002, Bettini in 2006 and 2007, and Ballan in 2008). Bettini also won the Olympic gold medal in 2004 under Ballerini's management.
Ballerini visited Hamilton in 2002, to check out the course and facilities for the Road Worlds the following year, and we spoke briefly with him at that time: Daily News: November 6/02 5:06 am - Interview with Hamilton Worlds COO, Franco Ballerini Interview
Franco Ballerini during a site visit in Hamilton in 2002, prior to the 2003 Worlds.
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