Frank Vandenbroucke is getting yet another chance in cycling. It was announced Wednesday that he has signed a one year contract with Mitsubishi-MKG, the former Jartazi Continental Team. It is the 32 year-old's tenth team since he turned pro in 1994.
The troubled Belgian rider has a history of problems, with the most recent being a suicide attempt this summer. According to hln.be, he only decided Tuesday evening to sign. "I am satisfied that I will do well on a Belgian team. This was definitely the best solution for me, and I thought about it a long time."
"I have a chaotic year behind me," he noted. "Since then I have been living in Belgium. I am starting to thrive again. "
Team manager Patrick Stallaert said, "It is our philosophy to give riders a second chance. So why not give a chance to a great rider like Frank Vandenbroucke? I believe in him 200 percent." Stallaert added, "VDB has a contract with a bonus system. If he does well, he earns more."
The team sport director is Jef Braeckevelt, who worked with the rider in the early 1990s at Team Lotto. "The ball is now in Frank's court. He must now try to reach the level of cycling we expect. Nobody can tell Frank anything. He has too much brio and experience for that. It is now up to him to seize this chance with both hands" he told Sporza.
Vandenbroucke turned pro in 1994 with Lotto. He then rode for Mapei for four years, his longest stretch with one team, before riding for Cofidis, Lampre, Domo-Farm Frites, Quick.Step-Davitamon, Fassa Bortolo, Mr. Bookmaker, Unibet.com, and Acqua Sapone, sometimes changing teams mid-season.