Davide Rebellin signs new contract at 48 years old

The Italian had planned to retire last year but has now decided to continue racing

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Davide Rebellin will continue racing after signing a new contract at 48 years old.

The Italian, who turned professional in 1992, had announced he planned to retire last season, but he has now re-signed with his existing team Meridiana Kamen for 2020.

Rebellin’s glowing palmarès features three wins in Flèche Wallone, a Liège-Bastogne-Liège, one edition of Tirreno-Adriatico and a Paris-Nice title.

Team manager Antonio Giallorenzo told SpazioCiclismo: “We are very happy with Davide’s return to our team.

“We know him well and have a special relationship with him, for us he is like family and he is an important rider.

“With his great experience he will surely be a support to make young people grow and he can offer his knowledge, as well as being competitive.”

In April last year, Rebellin announced he planned to leave the sport after 27 seasons, intending to retire after the Italian national championships in June 2019.

But Rebellin has opted to sign another contract with Italian-Croatian team Meridian Kamen after initially signing with the team part way through last season.

He started the 2019 season with the Algerian Sovac team, but due to a “problem” there was a mutual agreement to terminate his contract.

Rebellin has taken 60 victories over his long career, including the 2004 Liège, as well as Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallonne the same year.

He also won the overall at the 2008 Paris-Nice and the 2001 Tirreno-Adriatico.

In his home Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia he won the opening stage in 1996 and wore the pink jersey for six days.

Rebellin’s last victory came in the 2017 Tour of Iran, where he won stage five.

After turning pro in 1992, Rebellin started his career with the GB-MG Maglificio team, going on to ride for Française des Jeux, Liquigas and Gerolsteiner squads.

His career has been tarnished by a two-year doping ban after he tested positive for the third generation form of EPO, CERA, at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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Rebellin finished second in the Olympic road race that year, but the International Olympic Committee later revealed that six athletes from different disciplines had tested positive for CERA, including two cyclists.

The Italian media were later tipped off that Rebellin had tested positive, with the Italian Olympic Committee confirming the news.

He denied ever taking the substance, saying “my conscience is clear. I haven’t taken anything.”

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