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Rebellin signs with Meridiana Kamen

Davide Rebellin (Meridiana Kamen) lines up for the 2019 Italian National Championships road race
Davide Rebellin (Meridiana Kamen) lines up for the 2019 Italian National Championships road race (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Davide Rebellin has signed an extension of his contract with the Continental team Meridiana Kamen to start his 27th season as a professional cyclist, according to a report in SpazioCiclismo.

The 48-year-old moved to the Croatian-registered team midway through the 2019 season, but has also raced with the team for one season in 2012 before he moved to the CCC Polkowice Pro Continental team.

Rebellin was without a contract after the Epowers Factory Racing project collapsed. The team was to be sponsored by Istvan Vargas, the Hungarian who created hidden motors and magnetic wheels that were suspected to have been used in major professional races.

More recently, Rebellin had been linked with the new Cambodia Cycling Academy, but insisted that he intended to retire. He had announced that his last race would be the Italian championships in 2019 but raced on through the end of September.

"We are very happy with Davide's return to our team," Meridiana Kamen manager Antonio Giallorenzo said to SpazioCiclismo. "We know him well and have a special relationship with him, he is like family to us and he is an important rider. 

"With his great experience he will surely be a support and provide knowledge to young riders, as well as being competitive himself. He is a rider who is in the history of Italian cycling, but he is still capable of doing well and getting up there with the top riders. He has a great work ethic, he gets up early every day and trains for six hours, he deserves great respect as a person and as an athlete."

Rebellin began his professional career in 1992 with GB–MG Maglificio before Lance Armstrong became a household name and at a time when Miguel Indurain was winning Tours de France. Rebellin landed in the top 10 of his first Monument, the Giro di Lombardia when racing as a trainee and went onto a highly successful career with a then-unprecedented Ardennes triple, winning Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège in 2004.

He won the overall in Paris-Nice in 2008 at the age of 36 and then took silver in the Beijing Olympic Games road race, but the next year his samples from the Games tested positive for the third generation erythropoietin drug CERA.

He won Flèche Wallonne but was then banned for two years, returning after the 2011 Classics with the Miche Guerciotti team. He resumed his winning ways at the Tre Valli Varisine, taking 20 victories since his doping ban, the most recent in 2018 at the Tour International de la Wilaya d'Oran in Algeria.