Davide Rebellin’s hopes to continue racing into his fifties appear to have hit a bump in a road after his apparent contract with Cambodia Cycling Academy failed to materialise. The 49-year-old now continues contract talks with other potential teams for the 2021 season.
The Italian had appeared in a photo on Cambodia Cycling Academy’s Facebook page two months ago holding their jersey, seeming to indicate he would be joining the team to continue a career spanning four decades, having made his debut in 1992.
However, the team lined up for Etoile de Bessèges last week without him, and Eurosport France report it looks like Rebellin will be looking elsewhere for a ride this season.
The reason could be to do with Cambodia Cycling Academy’s current struggles to obtain a UCI licence, with cycling’s governing body currently investigating various claims of dysfunction within the team, which manager Samy Aurignac denies. After missing out on the GP Cycliste la Marseillaise, they obtained a special exemption that allowed them to ride in this week’s French stage race.
“Passion is my motivation. The preparations for the races and the feeling I experience during races, that makes me live better, and then I am as happy as a child,” Rebellin said in December.
Last year, Rebellin rode for the Continental level Meridiana Kamen Team, lining up for a handful of races including the Sibiu Cycling Tour, where he finished eighth overall, as well as the Italian National Road Race Championships.
The 49-year-old won Flèche Wallonne three times in the noughties, as well as Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2004 and the overall victory at Paris-Nice in 2008.
He has ridden 19 Grand Tours and 46 Monuments, having lined up at the 1994 Giro d’Italia as his debut Grand Tour, and his last being the Vuelta a España in 2008.