In what is either a sign of either his undiminished love for cycling or the inefficacy of his accountant, 48-year-old Monument winner Davide Rebellin is to sign with a Continental team in Cambodia for next year.
At an age where most riders would have long since retired, the Italian racer is set to work alongside a host of unknown riders at the newly registered Cambodia Cycling Academy team.
Having turned professional in 1992, Rebellin will be riding for his 14th pro team should the deal go through. A once-fearsome Classics rider who was also handy in stage races, Rebellin scored wins at Liège–Bastogne–Liège, Amstel Gold, La Flèche Wallonne, and the Giro dell’Emilia, along with overall victories at Tirreno–Adriatico and Paris–Nice.
After announcing himself with a stage win at his native Giro d’Italia in 1996 – which saw him hold the Maglia Rosa for six days while riding for Polti – Rebellin’s most productive years came with the Gerolsteiner team between 2002–2008.
However, following a positive test for Mircera at the 2008 Olympic Games, Rebellin served a two-year suspension. On his return, he dropped down to the Pro-Continental level and rode for a string of teams, his 2013–2016 stint with CCC–Polsat–Polkowice proving the most productive.
After initially announcing his retirement, Rebellin was originally set to return to the Pro-Continental level with the Hungarian Epowers Factory Team next year, which would have raised the possibility of a return to his beloved Giro d’Italia.
However, it now seems he’ll spend the next year or more riding for a mysterious squad of mostly unknown riders based in Cambodia. Still, he now has just another two years to go to become the first-ever 50-year-old pro rider. CYCLIST.CO.UK