Italian veteran Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) says he may race on past his 45th birthday, claiming he’s getting stronger with age.
The 44-year-old, one of only two riders to win all three Ardennes Classics in the same year, has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years, although the records show that he’s never really stopped winning.
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
Rebellin has recorded a win every year (except 2010, when he was banned) since 1995, with a stage – and almost the overall win – at the Tour of Turkey in 2015, along with the Coppa Ugo Agostoni in the autumn.
A ninth-place finish at the Dubai Tour shows he’s still in fine form in his 45th year and he hopes to record yet more wins this year.
“The team will race where they are invited. At the moment we will go to the Tirreno-Adriatico, [Milan-] San Remo and other Classics. That’s where I want to be strong,” Rebellin told MARCA.
“Last year we won and I think I can do it again because I feel good, motivated and strong. I want to record new victories.”
“This year I will not go to the Games. They are a very important event for the sport but [the race] is jinxed for me because when Samuel [Sanchez] won gold [in 2008] I was very fast in the sprint,” he added, failing to mention that he was subsequently stripped of his silver medal after failing a drugs test.
But how old is too old for a professional cyclist? Chris Horner has just found a new team at the age of 44, but Rebellin – just two months older than the American – believes he could ride on into 2017.
“I do not know when to hang up the bike,” he said. “Every year I think it could be the last, and we’ll see.”