Just a few days after signing yet another professional contract, 46-year-old Davide Rebellin has said that he’d like to still be riding as a pro when he turns 50.
The Italian rider, who started riding as a professional in 1992, will race for the Continental-level Natura4Ever-Sovac team in 2018, and says that although he is just concentrating on remaining competitive, he sees no reason why he can’t continue racing for many years to come.
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“I live year to year, day to day. I haven’t set myself any limits and finish lines. If I struggled to finish races or wasn’t good enough, I’d stop. That’s not the case for now,” Rebellin said in an interview with Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta della Sport.
“Celebrate my 50th birthday in the peloton? I don’t know if it’ll happen, it’s not something I’m aiming for, but why not? It’s possible.”
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Despite his age, Rebellin continued to deliver results while riding for thein 2017, including winning the UCI 2.2 International Tour de Banyuwangi Ijen in Indonesia in September, and winning a stage and finishing seventh overall in the Tour of Iran in October.
In his younger days, Rebellin won La Flèche Wallonne on three occasions, and completed a clean sweep of the Ardennes Classics by also winning the Amstel Gold Race and Liège Bastogne in 2004.
However his career has been tarnished by a two-year doping ban after he tested positive for CERA at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, where he had finished in second place in the road race.
Rebellin will ride for Natura4Ever-Sovac in 2018, a team with Belgian roots but which will be registered in Algeria next season, with at least six of his team-mates having not even been born when he signed his first professional contract in 1992.