Vandenbroucke wins again, but is he back?
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Monday, April 06, 2009

Vandenbroucke wins again, but is he back?

by VeloNation Press at 5:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Frank Vandenbroucke has long been Belgium's great "question mark". A man with undeniable talent that, by now, should have tallied up wins to match the Classics greats he was always compared to.

The only thing that could stand in VDB's way was the man himself...and so the drama unfolds.

Everyone handles pressure differently, and a combination of poor judgement leading to bad decisions derailed the rider's career before it ever got started.

Today, the 34-year-old wants to try to bring some of his promise from the past back to life, and has found a mentor in Nico Mattan that seems to be what the cyclist has needed all along.

On Saturday VDB started to show that promise winning the individual time-trial in the La Boucle de l'Artois, and while it's a far cry from his Paris-Nice and Liège-Bastogne-Liege victories of a decade ago, it seems it "might" have been the spark needed to re-ignite the passion for cycling in a man with nothing to lose.

"I won Gent-Wevelgem when I was 34. Frank is now 34, and has twice as much talent as I did," an energized Mattan told Nieuwsblad.be.

The Cinelli Down Under team will be looking for sponsors for next season so they can build up the team and try to secure wildcard entries into the Classics.

After watching the Tour of Flanders Sunday, VDB called Mattan and said, "Nico, I can do this. I want to go back (to the Tour of Flanders) next year."

If VDB can keep his head, there is a chance this could play out and become a reality. The rider would surely be able to bring an enormous amount of attention to any Belgian sponsor, but the reward will easily equal the risk.

We have the rest of the season left to tell us the rest of the story.
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