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Ballan wins Tour of Poland; Greipel takes final stage

World champion Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) won the 66th edition of the Tour of Poland on Saturday after the seventh and final stage. The 136km stage, from Rabka to Krakow, was won by Germany's André Greipel of the Columbia-HTC squad. Ballan wasn't assured of victory before Saturday's mountainous finale having only an 11-second lead over closest rival Advald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-HTC), who had won the two of the earlier stages of the race.

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World champion Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) won the 66th edition of the Tour of Poland on Saturday after the seventh and final stage.

The 136km stage, from Rabka to Krakow, was won by Germany’s André Greipel of the Columbia-HTC squad.

Ballan wasn’t assured of victory before Saturday’s mountainous finale having only an 11-second lead over closest rival Advald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-HTC), who had won the two of the earlier stages of the race.

But the Norwegian failed to make any impression on the peloton and Ballan could breathe easy with Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Caisse d’Epargne) eventually edging Boasson Hagen for second spot overall, 10 seconds behind.

“The fifth stage leading out of Krynica was decisive. I won that and took the yellow jersey,” said Ballan. “It was my first victory since the world championships last year and it’s an important victory because I have had some health problems and a mediocre season.”

Results, Stage 7
1. André Greipel (GER), Columbia-HTC, 136km in 2:55:39.
2. Christopher Sutton (AUS), Garmin-Slipstream, same time
3. Wouter Weylandt (BEL), Quick Step, s.t.
4. Matthew Harley Goss (AUS), Saxo Bank, s.t.
5. Matthé Pronk (NED), Vacansoleil, s.t.

Final overall standings
1. Alessandro Ballan (ITA), Lampre, in 28:46:13.
2. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (ESP), Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:10
3. Advald Boasson Hagen (NOR), Columbia-HTC, at 0:11
4. Pieter Weening (NED), Rabobank, at 0:12
5. Francesco Reda (ITA), Quick Step, at 0:16