Davide Rebellin (Work Service Vitalcare Dynatek) continues to amaze the cycling world, especially the 50+ gran fondo crowd, by finishing 11th overall at Italy’S UCI 2.1 category Adriatica Ionica pro stage race this week in his 30th professional season.

Making his return to the pro peloton even more absurd, the 50 year-old (almost 51) spent the last eight months recovering from a double leg fracture incurred when he crashed hard at the Memorial Marco Pantani in September 2021.

“Finally, tomorrow we resume competition. I spent a long period of rehabilitation after my tibia and fibula injury last September 18,” Rebellin posted on social media before the race. Adding, ”I do not know yet for how long, for how many races, but the important thing is to start again and always believe in your dreams.”

In the 900 kilometer five stage race in Northern Italy, Rebellin placed just outside of the top 10, finishing 11th in the final general classification, 0:07:54 behind 23 year-old overall winner Filippo Zana (Bardiani CSF Faizanè).

In addition, he helped his younger teammates, most are under 25 years-old, earn a stage 4 victory and 12th place overall for Lucca Riccardo, plus 5th place in the team competition – finishing ahead of top-tier teams Astana Qazaqstan and Team Novo Nordisk.

As the senior (citizen) rider on the team, Rebellin has decades of racing experience to share, although not all of it is appropriate for young pro riders. As part of the EPO-fuelled 1990s and 2000s, he swept the Ardennes classics in 2004, winning Amstel Gold, La Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. But like many of his peers, positive doping tests cut his top-tier pro ride short.

His love of riding and racing never wained though, he continued to race on lower tier Continental level teams rather than become an old pro celebrity guest rider on the Italian gran fondo circuit.

Although Rebellin has said 2022 will be his last pro season and gran fondos are in his future, with superhuman geriatric results like those at Adiatica Ionica we expect he might race pro for another season…at age 51.

Photos: Work Service Cycling