The world of cycling was stunned Wednesday to learn that professional cyclist Davide Rebellin died at the age of 51 after he was struck by a truck while training near Vicenza earlier in the day.
Tributes to the accomplished Italian poured across social media channels quickly, from individual riders and competitors to events and teams.
Rebellin had announced earlier in 2022 that this season would be his last as a professional on the road, his career spanning three decades. This year he jumped into off-road at the inaugural UCI Gravel World Championships in October and said he had intentions to pursue future gravel competitions.
During his time on the road, Rebellin captured victories at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Flèche Wallonne, Amstel Gold Race, Tirreno-Adriatico, Paris-Nice, Clásica San Sebastián and Züri-Metzgete. In 1996, four years after he turned pro, he wore the maglia rosa for five days at the Giro d’Italia and finished sixth overall.
His final road race was just six weeks ago at the Veneto Classic, and his most recent UCI Continental family, the Work Service Cycling team, had posted a farewell message for his 30-year road racing career. On Wednesday, team representatives shared personal messages with Cyclingnews regarding the sorrow of such a tragic loss.
“At this very tragic moment, our thoughts go out to his family, friends and loved ones to whom I want to express, on behalf of the entire team, our sympathy and deepest condolences,” commented Demetrio Iommi, president of Work Service Cycling team.
“There are no words to describe this news which leaves us all dismayed. Davide was not only our athlete but a true reference point for the young people on our team, for all the staff and for Dynatek. His attentiveness, experience and style were appreciated by all those who had the honor and pleasure of working with him. He left an indelible mark on all of us, and we still cannot come to terms with such a serious loss,” commented owner Massimo Levorato.
“In his 30 years as a professional, Davide was able to overcome all kinds of difficulties; last year, after his fall at the Pantani Memorial, he suffered a serious injury, but although it took months for full physical recovery, he did everything he could to get back on the bike, with composure and tenacity because he cared about closing his career by saying goodbye to everyone. This year he is back in the peloton, and at the Veneto Classic last month, there was a big party in his honor. To think about it now is really a great unique sadness,” concluded Us F. Coppi Gazzera Videa President Renato Marin.
The Work Service team was among many in the peloton to recall the broad smile and enthusiasm that was an ever-present trait of the Italian rider.
È con grande tristezza che abbiamo scoperto la morte accidentale del nostro ex corridore Davide Rebellin. La sua eccezionale longevità era la prova della sua passione unica per il nostro sport. Le nostre più sincere condoglianze alla famiglia Rebellin.November 30, 2022
Our sincere condolences to all the family and friends of the great Davide Rebellin… RIP campione 😭 pic.twitter.com/OIHJgEwFRYNovember 30, 2022
Upon the tragic news of his death, the words and pictures to pay tribute to the Italian rolled across Twitter and Instagram from all across the globe.
Mi más sentido pésame a familiares y amigos de Davide Rebellin, compañero de profesión y rival durante tantos años. DEP. https://t.co/5ZSlN9nwKvNovember 30, 2022
Il a quelques jours nous faisions notre dernière course pros à Monaco et aujourd’hui tu es parti rejoindre les étoiles. Je pense très fort à Françoise et ta famille. Je suis très triste tu vas nous manquer amico. RIP #DavideRebellin pic.twitter.com/8vN2rBKBPeNovember 30, 2022
Tragic news to hear of the sudden death of former Italian professional cyclist, Davide Rebellin. My thoughts are with his close ones during this difficult period. pic.twitter.com/V3I9yjw8tzNovember 30, 2022
Rest In Peace Davide , I will remember you kindness and your passion for the sport we all love . Condolences and strength to his love ones. #DavideRebellinNovember 30, 2022
😢 Davide Rebellin has passed away today at the age of 51. We send our condolences to his family. Farewell legend! 💫 pic.twitter.com/0b5mqhqzXPNovember 30, 2022
Nous apprenons avec tristesse le décès de Davide Rebellin, triple vainqueur de la #FlecheWallonne en 2004, 2007 et 2009.Condoléances à sa famille et à ses proches. pic.twitter.com/r1SgvOzELCNovember 30, 2022
Some of the messages from competitors needed no words to express their sorrow for the loss of Rebellin.