Despite his 46 years of age, Davide Rebellin has at least one more season in his legs, and has signed a contract for 2018 with Natura4Ever-Sovac, a Continental-level Belgian team.
After four seasons with CCC Sprandi Polkowice, the Italian moved down to Continental level this year, racing with the Kuwait-Cartucho.es team. He continued to win races, raising his arms on three occasions, the latest being on the penultimate stage of the Tour of Iran last month.
He is moving on again this winter, and on Sunday he met Geoffrey Coupé, the former pro who set up the Natura4Ever team this year, to put pen to paper.
Coupé has brought on Algerian automobile company Sovac as a sponsor for 2018 and has signed Youcef Reguigui from Dimension Data, as well as bringing four young Algerians from a team Sovac has sponsored this season.
"One of the dreams of our manager Geoffrey Coupé came true this morning," read a statement from the team. "Davide Rebellin will be an important part of our team, both in terms of his sporting qualities and in terms of the experience he can bring to our young riders."
Before joining CCC in 2013, Rebellin has also raced with Gerolsteiner, Liquigas and Francaise des Jeux in a career that now spans 25 years. Among his victories are all three Ardennes Classics, which he won in 2004, in addition to two more wins at Fleche Wallonne in 2007 and 2009. He has won a stage of the Giro d'Italia and claimed overall wins at Tirreno-Adriatico and Paris-Nice.
The Italian took silver at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, but his result was later stripped from his palmarès after he tested positive for CERA. For that he served a two-year ban, returning to racing in 2011.