Franco Ballerini's name is associated with cobblestones. The Italian won Paris-Roubaix twice and the Omloop Het Volk once. He also won many top places in races with an abundance of cobblestones. Yet Ballerini was also able to perform on less bumpy ground. He was in the lead in the Paris-Brussels in 1990, together with Michel Dernies and Jelle Nijdam. Sixteen kilometres from the finishing line, Nijdam missed a side street and the chance to score a victory, while Ballerini and Dernies sprinted in to come first. The Belgian did not look forward to an effort in the breakaway. But in the end, it was the faster Italian who gave the victory salute.