Davide Rebellin finds “great satisfaction” in winning at 46-years-old, 26 years older than his nearest rivals in Indonesia’s Tour de Banyuwangi Ijen.
The Italian, who first won a Giro d’Italia stage in 1996, took the opening stage and sealed the overall victory Saturday.
“I am happy to have won this race and now I have taken a lot of morale ahead of the next race in Iran,” Rebellin told Spain’s Marca website.
“Winning at this age is a great satisfaction. I knew I had the strength and the ability to take this race. I’m in good shape, so I hope to win again.”
Rebellin won the 2.2-ranked race thanks to his opening stage win ahead of 20-year-old Australian Drew Morey. Morey was not born until six months after Rebellin’s Giro stage win in 1996 and was seven when Rebellin won all three Ardennes Classics in 2004.
His overall victory came ahead of 24-year-old Iranian Amir Kolahdozhagh.
“This victory in Indonesia gives me morale to race another year. My form still is there, which enforces my love and motivation for the sport. I can still win more even if I’m getting older,” continued Rebellin.
“Cycling will always be with me, but I’ll have to see how many years I continue to ride as a professional.”
Since returning from a doping ban for the 2008 Olympics EPO positive test, Rebellin raced with smaller teams. The last three years, he wore the orange colours of professional continental team CCC Polsat Polkowice. When it appeared that Rebellin would retire last winter, he landed a spot with Middle Eastern/Spanish team Kuwait-Cartucho.es.
He raced several category one races and in the Italian championships, with top WorldTour cyclists, he placed 10th.
“I have had great results this year. I have been able to race at some good races, including the Italian championship. I think I’ve raced quite well and this victory is payback for the work done throughout the year,” he said.
“I’m considering [my future in cycling] year by year. Now, I’m looking at options to stay with this team or join another. The important thing is that I am well and strong, so I think I can still continue for some time in cycling.”