By Bjorn Haake
Frank Vandenbroucke had a rough season but is back to racing. Following the request for divorce of the 32 year-old's wife and an attempted suicide, which the Belgian initially denied but later admitted to, he then went to court once again before finally deciding to make a comeback.
The rider from the Italian Acqua & Sapone team, past winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, finished eleventh in the post-Tour criterium in Aalst, Belgium, on Monday. While he could not close the 10-second gap to winner Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas) of Italy and Belgian champion Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel), the troubled rider was able to finish in the first chase group of about a dozen riders, more than two minutes ahead of the remainder of the field.
Quick.Step's Gert Steegmans, winner of Tour de France stage 2, took the sprint for third.
Frank Vandenbroucke recently claimed that he can still win the Tour, at least in theory, and his comeback on the road on Monday shows signs of hope in his racing life while his personal life is put back on track.