Vandenbroucke still welcome at Acqua & Sapone

Frank Vandenbroucke is still welcome at the Italian team Acqua & Sapone despite mounting speculation...

Frank Vandenbroucke is still welcome at the Italian team Acqua & Sapone despite mounting speculation over the relationship, following the rider's removal from the team's list of riders on the UCI's website, which list the riders on every UCI registered team. The 1999 Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner was rushed to the Red Cross hospital in Fornaroli di Magenta, Italy in June after attempting suicide, but is hopeful of making a comeback.

"Vandenbroucke is still welcome," Acqua & Sapone team manager Palmiro Masciarelli told Sportwereld.be, before going on to outline certain conditions. "I have bluntly made it clear that he must first let a doctor examine him and guarantee that he is not risking himself or other riders by racing."

Vandenbroucke initially denied the suicide attempt but later confessed he had made an attempt on his life after suffering depression due to a breakup with his wife Sarah. In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport from his hospital bed in June, Vandenbroucke pledged to make a speedy return to the sport, saying: "I will return because as long as there is life, there is hope."

Vandenbroucke's contract expires at the end of this season, but the squad isn't dismissing the possibility of re-signing him for 2008. "He has thus the time still to prove himself on the bike," declared Masciarelli.

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