Davide Rebellin (Meridiana Kamen) has announced a retirement date after 27 years in the professional peloton. The veteran will race for the final time at the Italian National Championships on 30 June, two months shy of his 48th birthday.
Rebellin also stated that he will be rejoining Meridiana Kamen – for whom he raced in 2012 – for the final months of his career. He had raced for Algerian Continental team Sovac during last season up until February of this year before his contract was terminated by mutual consent.
The 47-year-old was in Huy, Belgium for the presentation of a film about him – Il Vecchio Saggio (The Wise Old Man) – when he made the announcement to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I will stop at the Italian National Championships on Sunday, 30 June at Compiano," he said. "I started the season with the Algerian team Sovac, but there was some problem and so we decided to terminate the contract by mutual consent.
"But I want to be in good shape at the Tricolore, and so I reached an agreement with the Meridiana Kamen, a team that has a Croatian license and has an interesting project, and where I can stay involved even after my career."
Rebellin will make his debut with Meridiana Kamen at the Tour of Albania in May. It will be the twelfth team of Rebellin's remarkably long career, which has seen him win the Ardennes triple of Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2004. He went on to win Flèche twice more, and also counts Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Clásica San Sebastián and a stage of the 1996 Giro d'Italia among his palmares.
In 2008, he won silver at the Olympic Games road race in Beijing, later losing his medal having tested positive for CERA. Since his return from a two-year ban, Rebellin has won races such as Tre Valli Varesine, the Sibiu Cycling Tour and the Giro dell'Emilia, with his most recent pro win coming last season at the obscure Algerian race, the Tour International de la Wilaya d'Oran.
Rebellin will link up with fellow countryman Matteo Rabottini at Meridiana Kamen. Rabottini is best known for winning a stage and the mountain classification at the 2012 Giro d'Italia, while riding for Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli. Two years later, he was banned for two years after testing positive for EPO, and has raced for Meridiana Kamen since his return.