sport

Ballan out of intensive care

Former world road race champion Alessandro Ballan has been moved out of intensive care following a high-speed crash in Spain last week.

The Italian BMC rider, who was injured while training near Valencia, remains in hospital as he recovers from surgery to repair his broken left leg and remove his spleen.

And though Ballan awaits a release date, BMC chief medical officer Max Testa confirmed an improvement in the 33-year-old's condition.

"The doctors who are overseeing his care at the hospital saw enough improvement that he's been moved to a regular care room," Testa said. "There have been no complications from the surgeries."

"Every day I am getting better," Ballan said in a statement. "I am very happy because I have a lot of supporters, not only in Italy, but around the world. A lot of people are thinking of me in this moment and I am very happy and appreciative of all of them."

Ballan had been due to ride at the Tour Down Under in Australia from 20-27 January but has been replaced by Ivan Santaromita.