While Rebellin would perform well in stage races throughout his career, his destiny lay in the Classics: in 2004 he achieved an unprecedented feat by winning all three Ardennes Classics - the Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. To date, this has been repeated only one: by Philippe Gilbert in 2011. He won La Flèche Wallonne again in 2007 and 2009 when he was 35 years and 259 days old (becoming the oldest rider to have ever won a ProTour race (this record was beaten later the same year by Jens Voigt, who was 35 years and 325 days when he won the Deutschland Tour).
Rebellin won the silver medal in the Men's Road Race at the 2008 Olympics, finishing behind Samuel Sánchez. However, in April the following year, it was announced that six athletes had tested positive. On the 29th of April, the Italian Federation revealed that one of them was Rebellin; he exercised his right to a test of the B sample provided at the same time, but it too tested positive for EPO-derivative CERA and he was banned from competition for two years; his medal was revoked and awarded to new second-place Fabian Cancellara. He returned to cycling with Miche-Guerciotti in 2011, then switched to Meridiana-Kamen, and in 2012 he won Stage 2 at the Tour of Slovakia.
Born in Gomel on this day in 1982, Belarusian Kanstantsin Sivtsov turned professional with the Russian Itera team in 2001. One year later, he won silver for the Individual Time Trial and bronze for the Road Race at the National Championships, both at Elite level; in 2003 he took the silver for the Road Race, the bronze for the TT and another silver for the Under-23 Points race at the European Track Championships; then in 2004 he became World U-23 Road Race Champion.
|Sivtsov at Paris-Nice, 2012|
Highroad, one of the first teams to introduce anti-doping rules more stringent than those required by the UCI, came to an end in 2011 when sponsors pulled out, reportedly because they didn't wish to be associated with a sport in which athletes were considered more likely to dope than any other by the public; Sintsov accepted an invitation to join Team Sky and returned with them to the Tour - a broken tibia sustained in a crash during Stage 3 made him the first rider to abandon the race.
In 1981, Peeters joined Peter Post's legendary Ti-Raleigh squad, frequently lauded as the most successful team in professional cycling, but this time came 59th overall at the Tour as he was riding in support of Joop Zoetemelk. In 1982 he was 34th, but won Stage 1 and wore the maillot jaune for one day before being relieved of it by Phil Anderson; although he won no stages in 1984 he again wore it for one day.
Peeters won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in 1987 and rode the Tour for the final time in 1989, his tenth; ending his career in 1990. Despite the promise he showed in 1982, which shows he might have won a Tour in the right circumstances, from the early days with IJsboerke and through the years with Ti-Raleigh, then Kwantum Hallen-Yoko, he had ridden as a domestique.
Pierre Georget, born in Châtellerault, France on this day in 1917, won a silver medal for the 1000m time trial and bronze for the 2,000m tandem sprint at the 1936 Olympics. He was the nephew of Émile Georget, who rode nine Tours de France between 1905 and 1914, coming third twice, and the son of Léon Georget who won the Bol d'Or nine times between 1903 and his last attempt in 1924.
South African professional Ryan Cox, born on this day in 1979, won the Tour of Qinghai Lake in 2004 and the Tour de Langkawi and National Road Race Championship one year later. In July 2007, he underwent vascular lesion surgery in a knotted artery in his leg. Three weeks later, the artery burst and caused massive internal bleeding which led to heart failure. He received several blood transfusions but his condition did not improve, and he died at 05:15 on the 1st of August. He was 28 years old.
Other cyclists born on this day: Louis Garneau (Canada, 1958); Brigitte Gyr-Gschwend (Switzerland, 1964); Jean Schmit (Luxembourg, 1931, died 2010); Ted Smith (USA, 1928, died 1992); Gerard Kamper (Netherlands, 1950); Gordon Singleton (Canada, 1956); Tonny Azevedo (Brazil, 1969).