Frank Vandenbroucke to be celebrated with 1.1-ranked memorial race
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Frank Vandenbroucke to be celebrated with 1.1-ranked memorial race

by Shane Stokes at 7:38 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Very strong lineup for first running of the Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke on October 5th

Frank VandenbrouckeWith the first anniversary of his death taking place on October 12th, the former top Belgian rider Frank Vandenbroucke will be remembered one week before that date with a memorial race.

His uncle Jean Luc Vandenbroucke will restart the Binche-Tournai-Binche event, which was last held in 1996 and won by his nephew.

“This year I will organise this wonderful race again,” he told Belga, confirming that it would henceforth be known as the Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke.

Eleven ProTour teams have been confirmed for the event, which will head 130 kilometres from Binche to Tournai and back, then complete four laps of a 15 kilometre circuit.

Those teams are the Belgian squads Quick Step and Omega Pharma Lotto, as well as Ag2r La Mondiale, Française des Jeux, Liquigas-Doimo, Garmin-Transitions, Rabobank, Team RadioShack, Team Milram, Saxo Bank and Katusha. Het Laaste Niews also points out that the sparkling lineup will also include the BMC Racing Team, Landbouwkrediet, Topsport Vlaanderen, Mercator, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, Cofidis, Carmiooro, Acqua & Sapone, Skil-Shimano, and Vacansoleil.

Vandenbroucke was regarded as one of the most promising Belgian riders in several decades. He stunned the world of cycling when he took a stage and finished sixth overall in the Tour of the Mediterranean at just 19 years of age. He won more than 60 races in his career, including Paris-Brussels, Gent Wevelgem, Paris-Nice, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Omloop "Het Volk" plus two stages of the Vuelta a España, but the bulk of those victories came before 2000.

He had a well documented battle with drugs and depression, but took his first UCI victory in many years last season when he won the time trial stage of the Boucles de l’Artois.

Vandenbroucke appeared in good health at last year’s world championships, where he worked as a journalist, but appears to have regressed when on holiday in Senegal and died of a pulmonay embolism there. He was just 34 years of age.


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