Frank Vandenbroucke honored by 'VDB Forever Classic' bicycle Tour
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Vandenbroucke honored by 'VDB Forever Classic'

by VeloNation Press at 10:00 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

The memory of the late Frank Vandenbroucke will be honored this coming June with a non-competitive cycling Tour titled the "VDB Forever Classic", according to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. Vandenbroucke died tragically from a pulmonary embolism last October while vacationing in Senegal. The Belgian had a tumultuous career that was constantly scrutinized with accusations of doping. In 2004 Vandenbroucke admitted taking banned substances during his career, and was eventually fined 250,000 euros by a court in Ghent.

After several comeback attempts where he constantly clashed with team management, Vandenbroucke finally looked to have found his groove on the Cinelli-Down Under team. The team was run by his good friend Nico Mattan, and during the 2009 season he again began to show the talent that had already written the Belgian into cycling's history books.

Following his season with Mattan, Vandenbroucke, who suffered from depression, said he was ready to step it up for the 2010 season, again wanting to compete in cycling's biggest races. In September he traveled to Mendrisio, Switzerland to the World Championships in search of a team.

It was his new-found motivation and direction shown to the public that made his death two weeks later all the more tragic.

The "VDB Forever Classic" will be held annually with help from the late cyclist's "Franky Boys" fan club. "We are working to invite ex-pros that have ridden together with Frank," his mother Chantal told the paper.

The ride will start at the café 't Berghof in Steenhuize-Wijnhuizein and then heads to Oudenaarde, visiting some symbolic places as it makes its journey to Ploegsteert, where VDB was laid to rest. "The procession goes to his grave, where everyone will lay a white rose in his honor. It will be another difficult day for me," she explained, "but I am glad that my son will be honored in this way."


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