Dhe cyclist and former professional of the Gerolsteiner racing team Davide Rebellin died in a training accident. The 51-year-old died on Wednesday morning in the northern Italian town of Montebello Vicentino, as the Carabinieri confirmed at the request of the German Press Agency.
According to initial findings reported by the media, the athlete collided with a truck as it turned onto the road. The truck then moved away from the scene of the accident – the driver may not have noticed the collision, it said. The authorities did not initially give any further details.
Specialist in one-day races
The veteran cyclist only ended his long career as an active rider this season and drove a charity invitation race in the Principality of Monaco at the weekend. Rebellin was a specialist in one-day races and in 2004 he won the classic Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège for the German team Gerolsteiner within a week. In 1996 he also won a stage of the Giro d’Italia.
Later, however, he wrote negative headlines when he was stripped of his Olympic silver medal in Beijing in 2008 because of doping. Follow-up checks in April 2009 had convicted him of taking the blood doping drug Cera. He was banned for two years, but always denied doping offenses and fraud to the end.
After his doping ban, Rebellin remained active for smaller teams, most recently for the third-class racing team Work Service-Vitalcare-Dynatek. “Please tell me this is not true,” tweeted Italy national team coach and ex-pro Daniele Bennati.
Rebellin was not the first Italian professional cyclist to die in a truck accident. Former Giro d’Italia winner Michele Scarponi was also run over and killed by a van during a training session in April 2017 at the age of 37.
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