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Frank Vandenbroucke (cyclist)

frank vandenbroucke cyclist killed, frank vandenbroucke cyclist legs
Grand Tours

Vuelta a España Points classification 1999 2 individual stages 1999

Stage races

Paris–Nice 1999 Tour de Luxembourg 1997 Tour de Wallonie 1998 Tour of Austria 1996

One-day races and Classics

Liège–Bastogne–Liège 1999 Gent–Wevelgem 1999 GP Ouest-France 1996 Omloop het Volk 1999 Paris-Brussels 1995 Scheldeprijs 1996

Frank Vandenbroucke 6 November 1974 – 12 October 2009, was a Belgian professional road racing cyclist He was the great hope of Belgian cycling in the 1990s but a remarkable talent which appeared in his adolescence in athletics and then in cycle racing dissipated in a succession of drugs problems, rows with teams, suicide attempts and finally being disowned by the cycling world His former wife described him as a cocaine addict He is known to have had numerous drug and family problems, and to have attempted suicide However, VDB claimed in an interview with ProCycling's Daniel Friebe three weeks before his death to have made a near-complete recovery from the emotional issues that plagued him throughout his career Vandenbroucke told Friebe, "I simply realise that the last year and a half have been fantastic for me" Nevertheless, he died of a pulmonary embolism in October 2009

Contents

  • 1 Background
  • 2 Career
  • 3 Family problems
  • 4 Drug problems
  • 5 Impersonation
  • 6 Suicide attempt
  • 7 Death
  • 8 Selected victories
  • 9 See also
  • 10 Notes
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links

Background

Frank Vandenbroucke was born in Mouscron and grew up in Ploegsteert, a village in the French-speaking region of Belgium with facilities for Dutch speakers In 1978, when he was four and cycling in the village square, he was knocked over by the driver of a rally car His mother said her son didn't cry until doctors cut his cycling shorts The collision led to four operations on his right knee and repeated problems later in life

Vandenbroucke first tried athletics, joining the Entente Athlétique Hainaut In 1986 he became a regional schoolboy champion He took out a cycling licence with the club in 1989 and won a race at Brakel An unnamed acquaintance told the Belgian journalist Philippe van Holle:

"It must have been when I was about 19 or 20 and went out training with a friend on the Belgian borders As we spun along, out of nowhere this skinny blond kid was on our back wheel He looked about 14 He was still there 15 minutes later, so we picked up speed He just sat there, so we picked up the pace again It was still no problem for him I looked over my shoulder and he gave me a half-mocking, half-friendly grin In the end, we went as hard as we could to try to get rid of him and teach the little brat a lesson, because by now he was getting a bit too cocky for our tastes But whatever we did, he still hung on After about an hour, we came into a village called Ploegsteert, at which point he came alongside with real arrogance and said 'OK, I'm back home now, so 'bye By the way, I'm Frank Vandenbroucke' Neither of us had ever met a kid like him"

In 1991, when he was 17, Vandenbroucke won the national beginners road championship at Halanzy He came third in the world junior road championship in Athens in 1992

Career

Vandenbroucke turned professional in 1993 with the Belgian team, Lotto The directeur sportif was his uncle, Jean-Luc He won 51 races in the next six years, including Liège–Bastogne–Liège in 1999 From 2000 he made the sports pages more for doping problems, failed comebacks, depression, marital problems and a failed suicide

Vandenbroucke left Lotto in the middle of 1995 to join Mapei There he became a team-mate of Johan Museeuw The manager was Patrick Lefevère Vandenbroucke stayed there until the end of 1998, the year in which he won Gent–Wevelgem, two stages and the overall competition of Paris–Nice, and two stages of the Tour de Wallonie

In 1999 he transferred to the French team, Cofidis The British magazine Procycling said:

"Three years on a contract worth 30 million Belgian francs £460,000 was a deal beyond VDB's wildest dreams He never suspected that having all that money in his pocket would set off a terrible downward spiral He won Het Volk and Liège–Bastogne–Liège before sinking into a doping controversy that was never satisfactorily explained see below - even though VDB was cleared by the courts The team suspended him while the allegations were investigated and relations with their star rider never recovered When he came back, he showed well in the '99 Vuelta before, remarkably, managing to finish in the front group of the world championship despite fracturing both hands en route Contractually obliged to stay with Cofidis, VDB had a poor 2000 season By this point, people in cycling were talking more about VDB's nights out than his riding"

At Cofidis he shared leadership with David Millar His "non-communication" with Millar was publicised and criticised It was with Cofidis, Vandenbroucke said in his autobiography, that he met the French rider, Philippe Gaumont It was Gaumont's confessions of drug-taking in the team that led to the so-called Cofidis scandal that included a raid by drugs police on Millar's house and the British rider's suspension for two years and his disqualification from the world time-trial championship he had won Gaumont, Vandenbroucke said in his life story, suggested he take a drug trip by mixing Stilnoct, a sleeping aid, with alcohol Gaumont described Vandenbroucke as a wild man of cycling It was Gaumont, Vandenbroucke said, who introduced him to Bernard Sainz, with whom his name would be connected in alleged drugs scandals see below

That year was Vandenbroucke's best He won Liège–Bastogne–Liège, Omloop Het Volk, and stages in Paris–Nice and the Vuelta a España His win in Liège–Bastogne–Liège was so dominant that some called him a "genius of cycling", because he said on television where he would attack It was, however, his last year of major victories In 2001 he moved to the Italian team, Lampre, then to the Belgian team, Domo-Farm Frites, the following year, rejoining Lefevère and Museeuw Vandenbroucke stayed with Lefevère when he started the Quick Step-Davitamon team in 2003 and he came second to Peter van Petegem in the Tour of Flanders Vandenbroucke said he was happy with his performance, that he had attacked van Petegem on the last climbs because he knew van Petegem would beat him in the sprint, but Lefevère criticised him for lack of effort and Vandenbroucke left the team

In 2004 he joined the Italian team, Fassa Bortolo, under Giancarlo Ferretti He asked not to be paid unless he won He had a largely empty season and was fired He joined Mr Bookmaker for 2005 He missed so many races that the team director, Hilaire Van der Schueren, demanded Vandenbroucke demonstrate that he was still a racing cyclist He was sacked for not staying in touch In 2008, he signed with Mitsubishi, where he was suspended when accused by Belgian police of buying cocaine in Wielsbeke

On April 4, 2009 he won a stage in the French race La Boucle de l’Artois, on a 15 km time trial, his first win in a UCI-race since 1999

Vandenbroucke said in 2004: "I've never done anything to make myself popular In fact, the opposite Sometimes I think it's all a dream I've thrown up a marriage, I've been on bad terms with my parents for a long time, all of which has troubled and exhausted me" He said he had disappointed sponsors, managers and directeurs sportifs, even though they continued to show confidence in him "I had become schizophrenic," he said Without psychiatric help, he would "have followed the same path as Pantani", the Italian rider found dead on a hotel floor After 450,000 French francs a month at Cofidis, he earned 220,000 at Lampre in 2001 and then half that at Fasso Bortolo

Family problems

Vandenbroucke had a daughter Cameron with his partner Clotilde Menu in February 1999, but the couple never were married and soon separated The following year, Vandenbroucke wed Sarah Pinacci, a former model and hostess with the Italian team, Saeco They lived at Lebbeke, near Brussels

Vandenbroucke and Pinacci had a turbulent relationship, and it was said in the media that they could not live together and they could not live apart - forming what those close to them called "a diabolical couple" In December 2001, they had a daughter Margaux

In July 2006, VDB fired a gun into the air while arguing with his wife, who later left him Vandenbroucke's father, Jean-Jacques, said his son had tried to frighten his wife that he had committed suicide His father said:

"Frank was talking to Sarah on the telephone They were arguing He went out into the garden and let his shotgun off into the air She was frightened that something had happened to him and called the emergency services He did it to try to make her scared"

it was the fifth or sixth time that she had returned to Italy When they are together they fight, when they are apart they cry He can't bear it when she leaves He blames himself and takes all the guilt And then there is his daughter He can't bear not being able to see her I probably shouldn't say so but, since Verona when he met Sarah, he has not been a committed rider"


Vandenbroucke and Pinacci eventually divorced, and the Belgian struggled to establish a more tranquil, less-public life He resided for a time with a couple in Eeklo who had taken him in after earlier rows with his wife, before moving-on to stay with other friends His parents, who run a bar and his supporters' club in Ploegsteert - membership dropped from 300 to 145 between 2005 and 2006 although 600 bought "Franky is for ever" T-shirts - said in 2006 that they had heard little from their son since he left Belgium for Italy His wife had visited twice, to present her husband's new clothing collection, but not to see Vandenbroucke In 2005, he and his estranged wife and their daughter had a weekend at Eurodisney in Paris Supporters in the Frankyboys fan club at the café 't Parkske in Oudenaarde said Vandenbroucke had never been to see them, "although he said a couple of times that he would come but then never did" The chairman of the Frankyboys, Adelin de Meulemeester, said: "You can see him one day and he'll give you a friendly hello, then the next he won't even notice you "

In 2006 he asked his agent to ask his parents to sell his house in Nieuwekerke, near Ypres

Vandenbroucke and his uncle, Jean-Luc, did not speak for two years after Vandenbroucke broke his contract in leaving Lotto, the team which Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke managed

Drug problems

Vandenbroucke made headlines in 1999 for the first of many drug problems, arrested by Paris police but then released In 2001 he was stopped on the E17 motorway in Belgium in a speeding car shared with Bernard Sainz, the so-called Dr Mabuse of cycling Sainz was jailed in 2008 for falsely practising medicine Sainz could not produce the insurance documents the law insisted he carry and police searched the car and found drugs later identified as clenbuterol, morphine and EPO, which is used in sport as a blood-booster Sainz insisted they were homeopathic products After Sainz said he had spent the night at Vandenbroucke's house, police acquired a search warrant from a court in Termonde and searched Vandenbroucke's house with drugs specialists There they found small quantities of more drugs which Vandenbroucke claimed were for his dog Vandenbroucke was handcuffed and taken to a police station Two and a half thousand fans signed a petition complaining about his treatment Among them was his rival, Peter van Petegem Vandenbroucke was banned by the Flemish cycling federation from riding in Belgium for six months

The police said he was "very evasive" during questioning The inquiries continued and in December 2004 Vandenbroucke admitted taking growth hormones, EPO, amphetamine, morphine and steroids, although he did not name his suppliers He was found guilty in 2005 and sentenced to 200 hours of community service He appealed and a court in Ghent fined him 250,000 euros instead The Belgian press agency, Belga, said the court considered a fine suited to "the type of crime and Vandenbroucke's personality"

Vandenbroucke said he was naive but not dishonest in using Sainz - who was not charged - but that he was impressed at his results He said at a news conference in Ploegsteert that he had always thought Sainz gave him homeopathic products but that he had doubts He said Sainz had given him drops and injections He said:

He paid Sainz 7,000 French francs for the homeopathic drops and 50,000 in fees in the first half of 1999 Sainz said:

I have concerned myself with him since autumn 1998 Not, as has been claimed, to get him doping products Everybody knows perfectly, starting with the policemen who have listened to me for a long time, that riders don't need me for that sort of thing To the contrary If they turn to me, it's because they've heard of what I have been able to do for the great stars I have cited

Vandenbroucke was twice stopped by police in 2002 for driving his Porsche after drinking

In February 2007, publicity for Vandenbroucke's autobiography, Je ne suis pas Dieu said he admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs

The publisher later denied Vandenbroucke had said it, claiming a misunderstanding Vandenbroucke did, however, write that he lived a life of drug-taking and sometimes didn't sleep for days He said:

In March, the Union Cycliste Internationale declared Vandenbroucke persona non grata His ex-wife described him as a cocaine addict Vandenbroucke was suspended by Mitsubishi-Jartazi and then left

Impersonation

In August 2006, Vandenbroucke was caught in an Italian amateur race at Inverno, run by an organisation not associated with the Italian federation or Olympic committee, using a licence made out to "Francesco del Ponte" and bearing a photo of the world champion, Tom Boonen He described himself as Swiss and living in Rome, giving the address of a beauty salon

Vandenbroucke said riding had been "a weakness" He said: "I dropped out of the race I have never crossed the line in amateur races and I have never wanted to falsify their races" He rode because he "needed races", he said, at a time when he felt strong He denied sticking Boonen's picture on his licence, saying he would have chosen someone else's picture

Suicide attempt

Vandenbroucke had a reputation for "accidents, illnesses, doping allegations, lawsuits, suspicion, surliness and suspensions" He said:

On 6 June 2007 he was admitted to hospital at Magenta, near Milan, Italy, where he lived He was reported in "grave" condition His team-manager, Palmiro Masciarelli, said: "Frank is all alone He no longer has his wife and he lives by himself There is no longer a team at his side"

Vandenbroucke had turned down the Giro d'Italia, claiming problems with his knee, on which he had an operation the previous winter His psychiatrist, Jef Brouwers, said

" the problems with his knee have affected him badly He could no longer ride as he wanted after the operation Nor could the doctors say what the problem was These last few days, he has been terrible The people that I called in Italy could no longer help him He had thought it through and, so far as he was concerned, everything was lost The situation of his knee has worn him down completely and his private life wasn't good either, with ups and downs"

Death

Vandenbroucke died on 12 October 2009, while on holiday at Saly, a coastal resort 70 km south of Dakar, the capital of Senegal He planned to stay there 12 days with a former teammate, Fabio Polazzi An autopsy in Senegal showed he had died of a pulmonary embolism The circumstances remain unclear due to conflicting reports, some saying a combination of drugs was found by his bedside

An employee at La Maison Bleue, his hotel, was quoted by Agence France Presse: "When he came in , he was drunk He was with a Senegalese woman and he planned to stay one night At 4 AM his companion came to ask for a mop because he had been sick By 1 PM he had not left his room Around 8 PM my boss called me and told me he was dead"

Three people who allegedly stole his personal possessions on the night of his death were arrested, including a woman who had spent the evening with him On 18 November 2009 his family said it did not want further tests to determine if he was under the influence of drugs

Selected victories

1994 - Lotto 1995 - Lotto Paris–Brussels GP de Cholet-Pays-de-Loire 1996 - Mapei GP de l'Escaut-Schoten GP Ouest-France Tour Méditerranéen 1997 - Mapei Rund um Köln Tour de Luxembourg Trofeo Matteotti 1998 - Mapei Gent–Wevelgem Paris–Nice Volta a Galega Tour de Wallonie 1999 - Cofidis Liège–Bastogne–Liège Omloop Het Volk Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise Vuelta a España: 12th, Overall 1st, Stages 17 & 20 1st, Points

See also

  • List of doping cases in cycling

Notes

  1. ^ VDB is a common nickname in Flanders Another Belgian nicknamed VDB was Paul Vanden Boeynants
  2. ^ Vandenbroucke's elder daughter, Cameron, joined the same club and won the Hainaut cyclo-cross championship and then the Walloon cyclo-cross championship in the class for under-10s, in 2008
  3. ^ The two met at the world championship in Verona in 1999 and were married on 22 October 2000
  4. ^ It began in May 1999, said its secretary, Kurt van Rijcke, just as Vandenbroucke was sacked by Cofidis The club really took off after the second Sainz affair, De Rijcke told Het Laatste Nieuws in April 2004, "so you can't say that we jumped on the bandwagon of his success" "Archived copy" Archived from the original on 8 January 2009 Retrieved 5 January 2009 
  5. ^ The house was described in Procycling as having "a whole range of bedrooms, different garages for his bikes and his cars, spacious living rooms, an indoor swimming pool, and backs on to the pond dug so that he could indulge his passion for fishing
  6. ^ The French journalist Florent Joyard said supporters in the bar which Vandenbroucke's parents keep at Ploegsteert, were puzzled by what had been found One was quoted as saying: "Clenbuterol leaves traces for a month, so you'd have to be really an idiot to take it It's impossible And what else did they find An ampoule of Eprex EPO, but EPO stays detectable for eight days and Frank rode the Tour Mediterranéen, the Haut Var and the Classic Haribo As for the sachets of morphine, Frank told me himself that he had used morphine when he had his two broken wrists in plaster Anyway, with morphine, come the first kerb and you're on the ground" - Vélo, April 2002
  7. ^ Alain Prost said he had merely posed with Sainz in the way he posed with anyone who wanted a photograph taken in his company
  8. ^ Del Ponte is a rough translation of Vandenbroucke in Italian "Van den" means "of the" or "from the" in pre-reform spelling; there is no Dutch word "broucke" but the pronunciation sounds like the word for "bridge" or "bridges" It also sounds like the word for "trousers", leading to comments that his name could also have been translated as del Pantalone That was the version that Vandenbroucke told reporters from Gazzetta dello Sport would have been "the more appropriate" translation "Broucke means 'trousers' in Dutch", he said Etymology: broucke refers to brouc, the medieval Dutch word for wetlands, marsh An example is Brussels, originally Broeksele 10th century, meaning the settlement in or near the marsh Ref in Dutch: http://wwwetymologiebanknl/trefwoord/broek2

References

  1. ^ a b c Belgique - Vandenbroucke dément être impliqué dans une affaire de drogue 29 December 20098 http://wwwtsrch/tsr/indexhtmlsiteSect=800002&sid=8929615&cKey=1230573371000
  2. ^ a b "Bad Boy Vandenbroucke in further hot water," AFP, 2 April 2008
  3. ^ VDB: The Final Interview http://wwwcyclingnewscom/features/frank-vandenbroucke-the-final-interview
  4. ^ Archives, Cycling "Frank Vandenbroucke" 
  5. ^ a b c d Procycling, UK, undated cutting
  6. ^ Cameron et Frank Vandenbroucke: bon sang ne sait mentir!, 12 February 2008, http://blogssudpressebe/sports/2008/02/12/cameron-et-frank-vandenbroucke-bon-sang-ne-sait-mentir/
  7. ^ a b c "Info et actualité en direct - Toutes les actualités et infos - LCI" Archived from the original on 18 October 2008 
  8. ^ a b Frank Vandenbroucke se livre http://www20minutesfr/article/226441/Sport-Frank-Vandenbroucke-se-livrephp
  9. ^ Cyclists, doctor implicated in Cofidis doping scandal April 9, 2004 http://wwwcbcca/sports/story/2004/04/09/gaumont040409html
  10. ^ David Millar's fall from grace http://wwwbbccouk/scotland/sportscotland/asportingnation/article/0036/printshtml
  11. ^ Millar admits to years of doping 2 July 2004 https://wwwtheguardiancom/sport/2004/jul/02/cyclingtourdefrance2004
  12. ^ Millar has '03 title taken, fined $1,600 4 August 2004 http://sportsespngocom/oly/summer04/cycling/news/storyid=1852059
  13. ^ Procycling, UK, 2001
  14. ^ a b "L'ÉQUIPE - L'actualité du sport en continu" 
  15. ^ a b L'Équipe, 18 September 2004
  16. ^ a b Vélo, France, April 2002, p38
  17. ^ a b c d e f Journal du Dimanche, France, 17 September 2006
  18. ^ Frank Vandenbroucke se livre, 19 April 2008, http://www20minutesfr/article/226441/Sport-Frank-Vandenbroucke-se-livrephp
  19. ^ a b La Dernière Heure, Belgium, cited Procycling, UK, September 2004
  20. ^ Procycling, UK, February 2005
  21. ^ Het Laatste Nieuws, Belgium, April 2004
  22. ^ Het Laatste Nieuzs, Belgium, April 2004
  23. ^ "Cycling's Poster Boy Is Now a Police Mug," Samuel Abt, International Herald Tribune, 10 May 1999
  24. ^ a b Vélo, France, April 2002, p37
  25. ^ Ye hey 11 April 2008, Sports news, French hand 18-month jail term to doping doctor
  26. ^ "French hand 18-month jail term to doping doctor" 
  27. ^ a b c L'Équipe, France, 7 April 2003
  28. ^ Vélo, France, April 2003
  29. ^ "wwwcyclingnewscom news and analysis" 
  30. ^ a b Cycling, UK, 9 March 2002
  31. ^ L'Équipe, France, 18 September 2004
  32. ^ a b "Cycling : A god to fans, a pain for teams," Samuel Abt, International Herald Tribune, 5 March 2003
  33. ^ Cycling Weekly, UK, March 2002
  34. ^ a b c "L'ÉQUIPE - L'actualité du sport en continu" Archived from the original on 23 March 2017 
  35. ^ Cycling News, 13 July 2000, The Sainz doping affair fizzles
  36. ^ Cycling News, 12 May 1999 Frank Vandenbroucke gives a press conference
  37. ^ Sainz, Bernard 2000, Les Stupéfiantes Révélations du Dr Mabuse, J C Lattes, France p232
  38. ^ "Cycling: Vandenbroucke recovering after suicide bid," AFP, 7 June 2007
  39. ^ "Cycling Post, 21 January 2007" 
  40. ^ Cited Vdb: "J'aurais dû être un dieu !" 19 April2008, http://wwwdhnetbe/sports/cyclisme/article/205585/vdb-j-aurais-du-etre-un-dieuhtml
  41. ^ "L'ÉQUIPE - L'actualité du sport en continu" Archived from the original on 23 March 2017 
  42. ^ a b Frank Vandenbroucke s'explique sur sa surpercherie, 25 August 2006, http://wwwdhnetbe/sports/cyclisme/article/154620/frank-vandenbroucke-s-explique-sur-sa-surpercheriehtml
  43. ^ Vandenbroucke, Frank 2008, Ik ben God niet, Borgerhoff & Lamberigts, Belgium, cited http://wwwdhnetbe/sports/cyclisme/article/205585/vdb-j-aurais-du-etre-un-dieuhtml
  44. ^ "Frank was helemaal alleen in zijn hoofd" in Dutch Sporza 2007-06-07 Retrieved 2007-06-07 
  45. ^ Italie - Tentative de suicide du coureur Frank Vandenbroucke "Archived copy" Archived from the original on 18 October 2008 Retrieved 5 January 2009 
  46. ^ "Frank Vandenbroucke est mort" 
  47. ^ http://wwwrtbfbe/sport/cyclisme/autres-courses/franck-vandenbroeck-est-decede-54115
  48. ^ Alan Hope 21 October 2009 "Death of a hard rider" Flanders Today Archived from the original on 23 February 2012 Retrieved 19 September 2012 
  49. ^ Hedwig Kröner 13 October 2009 "Drugs found by Vandenbroucke's bed" Cycling News Future Publishing Limited Retrieved 19 September 2012 
  50. ^ "Questions autour de la mort de Frank Vandenbroucke" 13 October 2009 
  51. ^ "Cyclist Vandenbroucke dies in Senegal" ESPN 2012 ESPN Internet Ventures Associated Press 14 October 2009 Retrieved 19 September 2012 
  52. ^ Bjorn Haake 14 October 2009 "Vandenbroucke robbed in night of death" Velo Nation Velo Nation LLC Retrieved 19 September 2012 
  53. ^ Richard Tyler 18 November 2009 "Frank Vandenbroucke's family refuse further tests" Cycling News Future Publishing Limited Retrieved 19 September 2012 

External links

  • Frank Vandenbroucke at Trap-Friisdk
  • Frank Vandenbroucke - Daily Telegraph obituary
  • Alan Hope, "Death of a hard rider" and Leo Cendrowicz, "Brilliant but troubled: Vandenbroucke's stormy career" - articles in Flanders Today
  • VDB4-ever - Frank Vandenbroucke Memorial Site

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