49-year-old Davide Rebellin has secured himself a contract for the 2021 season.
The Italian will now embark on his 29th year in the peloton, having turned professional in 1992, six years before Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar had even been born.
Rebellin has told Gazzetta dello Sport that he’s “not interested in breaking records” and as long as he can “have fun and still have my say” then he will continue racing.
He has signed with domestic Italian continental team Work Service-Marchiol Vega and will make his debut on March 2 at the Trofeo Laigueglia, a one-day race where he will line up against Trek-Segafredo’s Vincenzo Nibali and reigning champion Giulio Ciccone.
“It’s nice to be able to ride with new goals and with the support of managers that gave me their trust,” Rebellin said in a press release from the team. “For me, cycling represents much more than a job and a passion: I see myself again in my young team-mates, their aspirations, and their projects. More than teaching them something I would like to convey to the whole team the emotions that the bike gives me every day.”
“Davide is still a high-level athlete who, thanks to a real sports life and targeted training sessions, can be competitive even in close-up appointments,” the team added. “Having him ride in our colours in an effort to break the record of sporting longevity is a great pleasure.”
Rebellin appeared to already have secured a new contract with the Cambodia Cycling Academy team, which would see him keep racing into his fifties, but issues within the team meant a contract never materialised and the Italian had to resume his search for a new outfit.
Meanwhile, in another age-defying cycling feat, 40-year-old Alejandro Valverde will line up for Movistar at the UAE Tour alongside David Dekker, who’s father Valverde also raced against between 2002-2006.