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Davide Rebellin pens deal that will see him racing professionally at 50

Davide Rebellin, Johan Le Bon join Cambodian cycling team for 2021 season.

Italian veteran Davide Rebellin will ride on in 2021.

Rebellin, who will turn 50 in August, is set to join a Cambodian-French continental level team in 2021. Former French WorldTour pro Johan Le Bon, who raced with FDJ and B&B Hotels, will also join Cambodian Cycling Academy next season.

“It was Davide Rebellin, my coach for two years, who asked me. He too will join this team,” Le Bon, 30, told the French daily Le Telegramme. “I am happy to share this new adventure. I was hoping to continue at the top level, but I’m staying with the professionals, and that’s the most important. I have not yet received my race calendar but the team should be invited to most of the southern French events such as Bessèges, the Marseillaise, the Route d’Occitanie.”

The confirmation of Rebellin’s arrival, revealed last week on the team’s Facebook page, is the latest chapter in Rebellin’s decades-long trajectory.

Rebellin, born in 1971, turned pro in 1992, some 28 years ago. He raced for a mix of top European teams, with a palmarès that includes the pink jersey in the 1996 Giro d’Italia, along with a host of other races. In 2004, he swept the “Ardennes treble,” and later won Paris-Nice in 2008.

Cycling justice caught up with Rebellin in 2008, when he served a two-year ban after testing positive for the banned blood-booster CERA after riding to second at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Rebellin returned to racing in 2011, and has since bounced between ProTeam and continental squads for much of the past decade. His career victory haul includes 61 wins, the last a stage at the Tour of Iran in 2017.

The Cambodia Cycling Academy was formed in 2020 by French rider Samy Aurignac, who has a strong link to Cambodia and whose father helps manage the team. The team’s service course is based in Alès, France, and American Barry Miller rode for the team this season.