Davide Rebellin starts 2009 with the goals of winning Milano-Sanremo, the World Championships and the Giro di Lombardia. The 37-year-old aims to add these races to an already rich palmarès by the end of next year, when he retires.
"Other than the Worlds, there are two races that I have never one in my career, Milano-Sanremo and Giro di Lombardia," Rebellin told Tuttosport. "Yeah, even Sanremo. It is not only adapted to the sprinters; I am also able to win it."
"Silver in Beijing was great; also because it came on the day I turned 37 years old."
His first win came in the 1996 Giro d'Italia stage seven in Monte Sirino, where he won a stage and spent six days in the race leader's maglia rosa.
"When I turned professional I was just 21 years old and I did not think to race this long. I still have the desire to win. I think of [Joop] Zoetemelk, who became World Champion at 39 years old. I could do it at the age of 38 in Mendrisio [Switzerland, 2009]."
Rebellin passed the New Year in Spain. He will return to Italy January 7 and meet his new team, Diquigiovanni, for a training camp in Terracina five days later.
He plans to start his 18th season as a professional at the Vuelta a Andalucía, in Spain, February 15 to 19, with 5000 kilometers of training already accomplished. His first race in Italy will be the Trofeo Laigueglia on February 21. (GB)