The 42 year-old Italian, who tested positive for CERA at the 2008 Olympic road race after winning a silver medal, has signed a one-year contract. Rebellin is set to become the oldest rider in the professional peloton.
Rebellin remains unrepentant about his doping, his comeback and accusations of doping earlier in his career. He struggled to win races in 2013, taking just a stage at the Szlakiem Grodów Piastowskich race and the overall classification of the Cycling Tour of Sibiu in Romania. However he finished third in the Italian national road race championships and took a string of other placings in Italian and Spanish races, meaning he finished third in the rider rankings of the UCI Europe Tour.
“I am very pleased that Davide Rebellin will one of riders for yet another season,” directeur sportif Peter Wadecki said on the team’s website.
I must admit that I was very keen that Davide stayed with us. Last season showed how much he was needed in the team. Despite his age, he is still a classy rider. His great cycling experience, knowledge and commitment in preparing for races proved to be very helpful for all the team.”
In a recent interview with Cycling Pro magazine, Rebellin spoke of desire to try and win one of the Ardennes classics next season. He was the first rider to complete the hat-trick of Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2004, but his teams have not been invited to the races since his return from suspension two years ago.
In spite of his positive test for CERA, Rebellin has never confessed to doping and told Cycling Pro that he views himself as “an example for many parents and their children.”
Earlier this month, further details of Rebellin’s tax investigation in Italy hit the headlines. Il Giornale di Vicenza reports that the prosecution witnesses will be heard in April, while the defence will present its case on July 10, 2014. Rebellin was charged with tax evasion in June 2011, shortly after his return to cycling from his two-year suspension.
The prosecution maintains that Rebellin, while officially resident in Monaco during that period, spent the majority of his time in Galliera Veneta, in the province of Padova in Italy, where he lived in a house registered in the names of his parents-in-law.
As was reported by Il Sole 24 Ore in 2011, police from Italy’s Guardia di Finanza tracked Rebellin’s movements as part of an investigation called “Operation Zero Taxes,” which began in December 2008. They found that only 2% of Rebellin’s flights landed in Nice, the airport for Monaco, and only 7% of his car journeys took him across the French border. He was also alleged to have a gym membership in Cittadella and was regularly seen training on the roads near Marostica.
A search of Rebellin’s house uncovered a USB stick containing a PDF copy of a book entitled “How to Pay Zero Taxes – Fiscal Paradises.”
Rebellin has denied the charges.
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