Andrea Tafi has registered with the UCI in the latest step towards his Paris-Roubaix return at the age of 52.
Tafi, who won in the legendary velodrome 20 years ago, said he has found a team willing to take him on for the 2019 edition.
The Italian’s name has been included on the UCI Registered Testing Pool, which allows him to ride at WorldTour and professional continental level.
Tafi recently told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws: “Unfortunately I can not say which [team]. Not yet.
“I know how difficult it is.
“I’m going to train and see where I come out.”
The UCI pool is the register of riders who have submitted their whereabouts information to the authorities, which means officials can find the athletes at any time to carry out anti-doping tests.
Born in 1966, Tafi is still not the oldest rider on the UCI’s Registered Testing Pool.
The oldest is German paracyclist Hans Peter Durst at 60, followed by Australian cyclist, swimmer and rower Carol Cook who is 57.
Tafi won Paris-Roubaix in 1999 while riding for Mapei, at the age of 32.
He retired in 2005, having completed the race 13 times, finishing every time he entered and placing first, second and third.
Tafi claimed he had “earned a master’s degree” in the race.
During his career he also won the Tour of Flanders in 2002, Paris-Tours in 2000 and Il Lombardia in 1996.
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.
This year’s winner was Peter Sagan (Bora-Hangrohe), who finally found luck on his side and claimed his second career Monument at 28 years old.