Andrea Tafi not listed in Dimension Data roster for 2019 despite rumours he will join team

The 52-year-old says he has found a team to support his Paris-Roubaix return

Andrea Tafi
(Image credit: Watson)

Andrea Tafi has not been listed in the 2019 Dimension Data roster despite rumours he would ride for the South African team.

Tafi plans to ride Paris-Roubaix next year, 20 years after he took home the coveted cobble trophy.

The 52-year-old has registered with the UCI testing pool and says he has found a team to support his ambition.

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Rumours had circulated that Tafi would join Dimension Data for the 2019 Monument, but the team has denied that.

The 2019 rider roster for Dimension Data, published last week, includes Brits Mark Cavendish and Steve Cummings, as well as new signings Enrico Gasparotto and Giacomo Nizzolo, but no Tafi.

Head of performance at Dimension Data, Rolf Aldag told Cyclingnews that Tafi will not be riding for the WorldTour team.

Aldag said: “He’s not with us, I can guarantee you that.”

Tafi won the French cobbled Monument in 1999 as Italian champion, then 32 years old, with Team Mapei.

The Tuscan retired in 2005.

His last participation, 14 years ago, he placed 42nd racing for Team Saunier Duval.

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Australian Mathew Hayman (Mitchelton-Scott) won the race in 2016 at 37 years old.

The oldest winner is Frenchman Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle, who won twice, the second time in 1993 at 38 years old.

No one ever retired and returned 20 years later to race, let alone win.

Tafi’s former team-mate Paolo Bettini recently spoke publicly to discourage Tafi from riding the cobbled Classic.

Bettini said: “To Andrea I say, I hope you don’t race, you need to do something else in your life at 52 years old."

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.