Rebellin out of Worlds road race
Even after the one-day training expedition to Argentina, Davide Rebellin has been told today that he
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE At one minute past midday on Friday, that is precisely 60 seconds after the UCI brought the shutters down on entry lists for the world championship road race in Verona, it was confirmed that Davide Rebellin would not be among the 200 starters from 42 different countries on Sunday. Rebellin’s convoluted, ultimately farcical, bid for Argentinian citizenship stalled on Friday when the UCI refused to accept a national identity card as proof of the Italian-born rider’s new status. A passport or alternative official certification of Rebellin’s dual nationality had failed to reach the UCI by the 12pm cut-off point. Rebellin’s agent, Fred Morini, chaired an impromptu press-conference in Verona to confirm that Alejandro Alberto Borrajo, and not Rebellin, will be Argentina’s sole representative on Sunday. “Last week, when Davide went to Buenos Aires to sign all of the necessary papers, he left thinking that he had everything in order,” said Morini. “Davide thought that he had all of the documents that the UCI had asked him to provide. That was until three days ago. But now we realise that we need the passport or some other official certification. Even a faxed copy would have been sufficient. Unfortunately, now it is six o’clock in the morning in Buenos Aires. It is no one’s fault: we just didn’t have time.” According to Morini, the 33-year-old Rebellin intends to resume his career as Argentina’s pre-eminent cyclist, but may not be able to do so until next week. “The documents could even arrive on Monday,” Morini revealed. The president of the Argentinian Cycling Federation, Gabriel Curuchet, had expected to arrive in Verona triumphantly brandishing Rebellin’s passport on Monday, but in the event turned up empty-handed. Rebellin, said Moreni this morning, was more disappointed for his fans than for himself. In contrast, Italian national selector Franco Ballerini – whose ambivalence first prompted Rebellin to look abroad – could emit a large sigh of relief this morning. Former Italian great Francesco Moser has suggested on numerous occasions this week that, were Rebellin to win for Argentina, Ballerini should show his remorse by diving into the nearby Adige river. The Italian might now look forward to liquid refreshment of a different, and perhaps bubbly, variety.