Frank Vandenbroucke has been postponing his season start several times these last few weeks, and has again decided not to participate in the Circuit de la Sarthe, which started yesterday, because of suspected food-poisoning. MrBookmaker directeur sportif Lucien Van Impe is now losing his patience with the Belgian rider, and accuses him of a lack of respect in the Belgian press, which has been following the matter closely. Van Impe wants Vandenbroucke to ride Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, although he might not be very well prepared to participate in the "Hell of the North".
"It's one of Frank's last chances," Van Impe said. "That's what has been concluded in a conversation with [team manager] Hilaire Van Der Schueren and sponsor Koen Terryn." Apparently, Vandenbroucke cancelled his participation in the Circuit de la Sarthe on such a short-term that the team travelled to France with his rider belongings in the bus. Van Impe, who has his doubts on the food poisoning story, is now waiting for a phone call. "VDB just hasn't got any respect," he told Belgian Sporza. "He knows that I'm the directeur sportif here; he could call me! It's not because his name is Vandenbroucke that he can do what he wants. You just don't do that as a top sportsman. Vandenbroucke lets everybody down: the riders, the team management, and above all himself. I've told Van Der Schueren that I've had enough of it."