Davide Rebellin has handed away on the age of 51. The Italian bike owner, who formally ended his lengthy profession this yr, was hit by a truck in Montebello Vicentino on Wednesday. Ed Hood interviewed Rebellin final yr, right here is the rerun in tribute to the Italian rider.
# Everybody at PEZ sends their condolences to his household and mates. #
Rider Interview: Davide Rebellin has a powerful palmarès. He had his 2008 Olympic silver medal taken away and served his suspension, to then resume his skilled profession, now in his thirtieth season (31 when you embrace his banned 2010). A multi Classics winner with a shadow over his profession – Ed Hood needed to have a phrase with Davide.
A number of years in the past I posted on social media an image of Davide Rebellin in his new Sovac-Natura4ever crew strip for 2018; his twenty seventh season as an expert. I commented that he was a ‘outstanding man.’ Instantly I used to be knowledgeable that I used to be, ‘glorifying a doper’. Once I responded by asking how he was any totally different to the pundits, authors, TV commentators, self-styled model gurus and authors who’ve all fallen foul of the testers however at the moment are accepted by the biking group – nobody may inform me. Former ‘cross star Barry Davies instructed that I organise an interview with the Italian; ‘good concept’, I believed to myself. And under you’ll see what the person needed to say. However some background, first.
Rebellin was a world champion in 1989 as a junior within the crew time trial. In 1991 he was silver medallist on the planet novice highway race championships. Since 1992 he’s received some 80 skilled races together with Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Flèche-Wallonne, Amstel, Zurich, San Sebastian, Henninger Turm, Tirreno-Adriatico, Paris-Good and the Tour of the Mediterranean to call however the most effective recognized.
2nd within the Olympics – Then…
He took a silver medal within the Beijing Olympic highway race however was subsequently declassed for returning a optimistic pattern. He was suspended and the Italian Federation tried to sue him and have him imprisoned for his misdemeanour – however he efficiently defended himself towards these potential punishments. However he got here again and continues to be racing at 49 (50 in August 2021) years-of-age, once I interviewed Pole, Tomasz Marczynski, a crew mate of Rebellin’s at CCC a yr or two in the past he mentioned of the Italian; “I don’t know many cyclists like him; he’s 100% skilled always – a extremely good instance for younger riders.”
PEZ: Thanks for agreeing to talk to us, Davide – we all know Davide the bike owner, what about Davide the person?
Davide Rebellin: I solely found myself as a “man” just a few years in the past. This appears fairly unusual once I give it some thought however I solely used to see myself as a bike owner with no room for the person that I actually am. With the tribulations of life I come to understand that beneath the bike owner, I used to be additionally a person, with different emotions than these linked to biking. I’ve to offer due to my spouse for this, Fanfan who I met on the bike about eight years in the past on my coaching roads round Monaco, we have now been married since 2014. I respect my job, my metier, my ardour, my schedule is totally devoted to my work; however I got here to love myself as the person I’m earlier than liking myself as a bike owner, which helped me lots to search out my id.
2nd within the 1991 Worlds
PEZ: What do you do away from the bike?
I get pleasure from spending time in touch with Nature, the ocean, mountains, animals, bushes, flowers, the altering seasonal colors and tranquility do me quite a lot of good, regenerating my power. I additionally get pleasure from studying, drawing, however I don’t discover sufficient time for these actions as coaching, racing, appointments and different commitments go away little free time for such pastimes
PEZ: You thought-about the priesthood as a younger man, is your religion nonetheless vital to you?
Religion has all the time been vital to me although I don’t attend Mass usually however I remind myself on a regular basis how fortunate I’m to be alive, to have a ardour, to be in glorious well being, to be surrounded with household and mates. I’m grateful each morning and night for such a privilege. It’s important to understand what one has and to be totally grateful. This mind-set offers me power.
Beating Ullrich, Sorensen and Virenque within the Tour de Suisse 1997
PEZ: Who have been your function fashions as a younger rider?
Once I was a younger bike owner I used to admire Moser and Bugno.
PEZ: The place is your favorite place to race?
I like Belgium and particularly the Ardennes, the place the Belgian Classics happen (Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège). These are my favorite races as a result of they’re nicely tailored to my talents. Every time I participated in these races, I all the time felt intense and magical feelings.
In Liège subsequent to a different man with a shadow
PEZ: Are you a person for statistics – wins/podiums?
I do know I’ve received about 80 races [Cycling Archives website makes it 90 wins including his major amateur victories, ed.] throughout my skilled profession however regarding being on a podium, I’ve no concept how typically.
PEZ: What’s the longest interval you’ve spent off the bike?
Once I was nonetheless an novice, I had a foul biking fall which broken my dorsal colon and needed to be immobilised in mattress for about one month. In 2003 I additionally had a luxation on my left shoulder which needed to be immobilised however I continued house coaching. After the biking season it’s vital to stop biking for some time however it’s one thing I can’t do. I feel I’ve by no means been greater than three days with out being on my bike. Biking is a part of my life in the identical manner as consuming, consuming or sleeping.
Amstel’04 – ending forward of Boogerd
PEZ: What’s been essentially the most satisfying a part of your profession so far?
The victories in 2004 within the Ardennes Classics – the Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Amstel – to win the three classics in the identical week offers one an immensely great and powerful feeling.
PEZ: Has there ever been a time you thought-about quitting?
No, I attempt to hearken to my physique, my needs, my heart-felt hopes; this provides me a lot power and power, enthusiasm and willpower to progress – I respect these feelings and proceed on my manner! My age is only a element. An important factor is to really feel the love for one’s work; the physique will observe with all its power.
Rebellin and Armstrong
PEZ: What have been the large disappointments in your life?
The lack of my Olympic Medal which was so unjustly taken from me. However I favor to focus on the nice occasions; the not so good occasions have served to strengthen my religion and so to strengthen me. The suspension for 2 years was a terrific trial for me as a result of it was so unjust. And the seven years of authorized motion towards me have been a horrible ordeal.
(As wiki explains: [After the loss of his Olympic medal] The Italian Nationwide Olympic Committee subsequently took Rebellin to court docket, searching for €500,000 in damages and a twelve-month custodial sentence below an Italian regulation handed in 2000 permitting for athletes who dope to be jailed for as much as three years. Nonetheless, in 2015 a court docket in Padua dominated that he had no legal case to reply, along with clearing him of fees of tax evasion.)
However I all the time informed myself that ultimately justice could be accomplished. This proved to be the case when admissions have been made about grave and unexplained errors made throughout the authorized proceedings towards me – and when my innocence was lastly recognised. The injury has been accomplished however justice had the ultimate phrase and this liberation was important for me and one wherein I all the time believed.
PEZ: What are the largest adjustments you’ve witnessed within the peloton throughout your lengthy profession?
Through the 27 years of my skilled profession, I’ve seen many issues evolve each in a very good and never so great way. An important evolution has been with know-how of the velo, aerodynamics, clothes, athletic preparation and food regimen.
PEZ: And frames-wise?
The introduction of carbon, this has allowed bikes to carry out to their full potential.
PEZ: Coaching – do you continue to have a coach?
Regarding bodily preparation, it’s a very long time since I’ve had a coach. I do know myself nicely and attempt to adapt my coaching programmes in response to my aims. I do know what I would like to enhance and provides much more significance to relaxation, sleep and recuperation. I’m glad with how I practice however it’s important that my resting intervals are enough too – maybe much more so than bodily coaching. The human organism can solely operate appropriately whether it is profoundly rested and so utterly prepared to offer its finest.
Amstel 2014 with Jack Bauer
PEZ: Do it’s a must to pay extra consideration to food regimen now you’re getting older?
Since I’ve adopted a gluten-free food regimen (gluten-free, vegetarian with a bent to vegan) I’ve been capable of management my weight extra simply whereas consuming increasingly copiously. My system digests higher and has added resistance towards viruses. For the final three months I’ve been taking the complimentary merchandise from Natura4ever; they’re completely pure with substances comparable to curcuma, piperine, quercetine, which have anti-infammatory and protecting properties (Naturagold), but in addition Krill Oil (Natura Krill), wealthy in Omega 3 and a strong antioxidant, NaturaBlue Sport which will increase one’s power and NaturaBlue unique which helps with the recuperation and normal nicely being of the system.
PEZ: Do really feel you get respect from the youthful riders?
Sure, there may be respect between us. The youthful technology have seen me win races after they have been nonetheless youngsters and infrequently inform me so in a really respectful manner. I respect this and thank them warmly. The not-so-young professionals typically ask how I discover sufficient motivation and power to proceed; I inform them that I reside within the current and am nonetheless match and even stronger than earlier than.
Tirreno 2009 stage 4
PEZ: How do you’re feeling the Media treats you?
When one comes up towards difficulties, the media are merciless and like to change actuality pondering that their articles might be extra profitable however fortunately extra conscientious and sincere journalists do exist who deal solely with the reality even when this represents much less of a ‘scoop’ for them.
PEZ: Which of your rivals through the years do you’ve most respect for?
I respect each one in every of my biking colleagues; we’re all aboard the identical boat and I understand how great but in addition how extraordinarily tough our work is. The bike owner I most admire is probably Valverde, a rider able to profitable each form of race, which is uncommon, he can win one-day and stage races and accomplish that all through a complete season.
The 1999 Polti crew: Guidi, Gotti, Rebellin, Virenque and Celestino
PEZ: What recommendation would you give younger riders beginning out?
Love your work, and in your leisure time keep your self self-discipline, stay conscientious and consider in your self. Give the most effective you’ll be able to and keep in mind how lucky you’re to be doing what you’re – and don’t take into consideration the difficulties and sacrifices! It’s a great alternative and a privilege to be an expert bike owner.
PEZ: Once you lastly cease racing, what is going to you do?
I do already organise bike owner coaching programs (the following collection might be proven on my website www.daviderebellin.it) below the class REBELCAMP and when my profession as a bike owner is completed I’ll have extra time to commit to this exercise and to proceed to develop my clothes and accent line.
Flèche Wallonne 2009 forward of Andy Schleck
PEZ: Are there belongings you would nonetheless like to attain on the bike?
My dream would to be a World Champion and to race as soon as once more within the Belgian Classics, Liège and Flèche Wallonne – the races so near my coronary heart!