Rebellin stays Italian

L-B-L 2004: Davide Rebellin achieved the first triple of this kind ever

L-B-L 2004: Davide Rebellin achieved the first triple of this kind ever (Image credit: Elmar Krings)

Gerolsteiner rider Davide Rebellin has finally opted to leave his plans of becoming Argentinean behind. The Italian had started to apply for Argentinean citizenship in 2004, as Italy's national selector Franco Ballerini had not appointed him to the roster participating at the World Championships in Verona, close to Rebellin's home. The now 34 year-old could not participate in the men's road race at the time, nor in the 2005 event in Madrid, Spain, but is keen to represent his country again in this year's World's in Salzburg, Austria.

"I've ditched the paperwork for Argentinean citizenship," Rebellin told Italian website "I'm open to take up the dialogue with Ballerini again because the Austrian course suits my capacities. I really want to participate."

The man who won the Amstel Gold Race, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne in one beautiful week in 2004 experienced a less successful season last year, but is ready to start anew. "In mid-February, I'll start at the Volta ao Algarve - from there, I hope to find good form to come up with something [in Milano-Sanremo] to prevent a sprint finish," Rebellin said.

The classics leader of German team Gerolsteiner hasn't decided on his participation in the Giro d'Italia yet. "It's clear that I will give the maximum in these races [meaning Amstel Gold, Liège and Flèche - ed.]," he continued. "I'll only decide subsequently if I can participate in the Giro to aim for stage wins and maybe even wear the Maglia rosa again like I did ten years ago." For the season's end, Rebellin also named the Giro di Lombardia as one of his major goals.

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