Vandenbroucke tried calling before death
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vandenbroucke tried calling before death

by Bjorn Haake at 2:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Frank Vandenbroucke tried to reach several people on Monday morning, shortly before his death. One of those Vandenbroucke tried to reach was Simone Masciarelli, who helped the Belgian especially in the year 2007, after his attempted suicide.

Masciarelli feels very guilty for not picking up the phone. "Monday morning at 4:30am Senegal time [6:30am Italian time] my cell phone rang but I didn't pick it up. It was a number from Africa. Only later did I remember that Frank went to Senegal," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"When I called my nephew, he also saw that he had a missed called from the same number," Masciarelli said. 'At the time we both thought that he would call back."

A third friend in Italy also received a call from the same number.

Seynabu Diop, the prostitute who last saw Vandenbroucke alive, left the hotel at 6am local time, 90 minutes after Vandenbroucke tried to call several people.

The autopsy on the Belgian's body has been performed in Dakar, but the results have not been made available. It was said, however, that there were no signs of violence and no alcohol in Vandenbroucke's body.

A further toxicological examination is scheduled to take place in either France or Belgium, according to Sportwereld.

Tom Boonen of Quick Step ruled out a suicide. He told Belgian paper Concentra that "I saw Frank last week and he was anything but depressed. He looked fresh and in good spirits," something that Vandenbroucke's mother also confirmed.

Boonen did admit he didn't have much contact with Vandenbroucke, but will go to the funeral. "You have to admire his persistence. Other racers would have understood that there is no way back, but Frank had the crazy idea that he can come back."


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