Another tragedy hits the cycling world: Davide Rebellin, the champion with an endless career, died today on the roads of the Veneto, at the age of 51, while on a bicycle, hit by a truck, which then continued its race. For the champion of many Northern European races (Amstel Gold Race, Freccia Vallone, Liège-Bastogne-Liege) there was nothing they could do: the bicycle, crumpled up and unrecognizable, was found about thirty meters away from at the point of impact.
Arriving on site, the Suem doctors could only ascertain the death of the champion. Rebellin had gone out as always for a trip, after retiring from sports on October 16th. He lived in Lonigo (Vicenza) and was probably returning home, on regional 11 Vicenza-Verona, when he was the victim of the crash. An accident that looks like a photocopy of the one in which Michele Scarponi died in 2017. And a terrible circumstance meant that one of the champion’s brothers, Carlo, was among the first to arrive at the scene of the accident: having learned from the media that there had been an accident in the Montebello area, he perhaps had a premonition and reached the place, immediately recognizing the remains of the bike.
Investigations to track down the driver of the truck that hit Rebellin are already underway. The first reconstructions immediately after the accident hypothesized that the truck driver might not have noticed anything, but the carabinieri sifted through the images of the security cameras of a restaurant, La Padana, in whose parking lot the truck was seen entering, immediately after the accident. If the vehicle then left from there, taking the same exit with respect to state road 11, it is almost impossible that whoever was driving it did not notice the body on the ground and the bicycle. But until tonight there was still no trace of the heavy vehicle.
Dismay and unanimous condolences for the news of Rebellin’s death, which also involved the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni. «I am disturbed and saddened by the news of the tragic passing of Davide Rebellin. Condolences to the family,” wrote the premier on Twitter. The governor of Veneto, Luca Zaia, and of course the Federciclismo also joined in the grief of Rebellin’s family and of cycling. «David’s disappearance – commented the president Cordiano Dagnoni – hurts us deeply for two reasons. First of all because tragic news once again involves a cyclist. Then, even though we don’t yet know well the dynamics of the accident, it is clear that much still needs to be done in this country regarding the culture of respect. I want to underline that our sport lives on the road, especially during training sessions. The Federation has been urging the institutions for some time to intervene with adequate measures».
In support of this analysis came the data from the Asap report, the Polstrada Supporters Association: 103 cyclists lost their lives on Italian roads in the first eight months of the year, to which we must add the deaths that occurred days or weeks in hospitals after admission.
Davide Rebellin made his farewell to racing official not even a month ago, on the occasion of the Veneto Classic. light blue no. 174 at the cycling world championships, he made his debut in the world championship in 1996 in Lugano. His trio of victories in 2004 in the space of eight days is historic: Amstel Gold Race, Freccia Vallone (later won twice more) and Liège. In his palmares, there is also a “bitter” medal: silver at the Beijing Games, later revoked due to a positive test for doping that was never fully clarified.
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