Davide Rebellin to call time on 30 year cycling career at 51-years-old

Italian says that 2022 will be his last year as a professional cyclist

Davide Rebellin
Rebellin in 2015
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Davide Rebellin is set to retire at the end of this year, 30 years after he made his debut in the pro peloton.

The 50-year-old Italian turned professional in 1992, six years before Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar had even been born. He will turn 51 in August.

He confirmed to Marca last week that this year would be his last in the saddle.

Rebellin said: "In 2022 I want to finish my professional career well. It will be my last year."

He is currently riding for Italian Continental-level team Work Service Vitalcare Vega, and joined them in Mallorca, where they were racing part of the Challenge Mallorca.

The Italian originally aimed to retire last year, but broke his leg towards the end of the season, which meant he stuck with the conti team for 2022.

"I didn’t want to end 2021 with a fracture of the tibia and fibula," Rebellin explained. "So I want it to end competing, with a good program, giving the maximum and getting some good results. I don’t know if that’s a top-10 or a top-5. I feel good and from April I’ll be fit.

"I feel good training, I do five or six hours of cycling. I have to work harder right now, although I still have pain in my leg and it doesn’t move as it should. I can’t force it at all, because I have to regain strength and muscle tone."

Rebellin turned pro in 1992 with GB-MG Maglificio, and raced at that team alongside Mario Cipollini and Andrei Tchmil. His first win came in 1992 in stage of the Hofbrau Cup.

It was during his time at Gerolsteiner in the 2000s where he established himself as a force to be reckoned with, winning Flèche Wallonne three times, alongside Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Amstel Gold Race. He won the GC at Paris-Nice and Tirenno-Adriatico too.

He tested positive for CERA after he finished second to Samuel Sanchez in the road race at the 2008 Olympics and was banned for two years. He has spent the following 14 years of his career at Pro-Continental and Continental level teams, but has occasionally delivered results, such as winning the 2014 Giro dell'Emilia.

In 2016, he told Cyclingnews that he was "bitter" about how he was treated following his ban.

“Yes, certainly, I’m a little bitter about it alright,” Rebellin said. “I’ve lost more than seven years of my career, and it’s been hard to see others who’ve found more doors left open for them.”

Speaking last week, Rebellin said that he has a mentor role at his current Italian team.

"I am not only a cyclist, but also the father of these boys to whom I pass on experience, training and nutrition," he said. "I am a good example and I show values. The year next they will go up in category and level. With my experience I can help them starting here against great teams. It is important that they compete with the highest category teams."

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