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Frank Vandenbroucke's life in pictures

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Frank Vandenbroucke poses with Freddy Maertens at the launch of Aqua & Sapone in 2007.

Frank Vandenbroucke poses with Freddy Maertens at the launch of Aqua & Sapone in 2007. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Frank Vandenbroucke spent the 2008 season with Mitsubishi-Jartazi, his third team in as many years.

Frank Vandenbroucke spent the 2008 season with Mitsubishi-Jartazi, his third team in as many years. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Frank Vandenbroucke won a stage at Boucles de l'Artois in Mont Saint Eloi, France during his final year of racing this season. The Belgian had been riding for Cinelli-Down Under at the race, where he finished third overall, but as was the case on several occasions Vandenbroucke and the team parted ways before season’s end.

Frank Vandenbroucke won a stage at Boucles de l'Artois in Mont Saint Eloi, France during his final year of racing this season. The Belgian had been riding for Cinelli-Down Under at the race, where he finished third overall, but as was the case on several occasions Vandenbroucke and the team parted ways before season’s end. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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After seeking psychiatric help in 2006, Frank Vandenbroucke looked to be heading in the right direction as he announced a return to cycling with Aqua & Sapone.

After seeking psychiatric help in 2006, Frank Vandenbroucke looked to be heading in the right direction as he announced a return to cycling with Aqua & Sapone. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Frank Vandenbroucke spent a single season with Fassa Bortolo in 2004, but towards the season's end started his battle with depression.

Frank Vandenbroucke spent a single season with Fassa Bortolo in 2004, but towards the season's end started his battle with depression. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Frank Vandenbroucke goes on the attack at Paris-Nice while in 2004 while riding for Fassa Bortolo.

Frank Vandenbroucke goes on the attack at Paris-Nice while in 2004 while riding for Fassa Bortolo. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A stint at Unibet.com in 2006 was brief for Frank Vandenbroucke as the team struggled with political issues while he battled personal problems. He had spent the previous two years with Mr Bookmaker, which turned in to Unibet.com.

A stint at Unibet.com in 2006 was brief for Frank Vandenbroucke as the team struggled with political issues while he battled personal problems. He had spent the previous two years with Mr Bookmaker, which turned in to Unibet.com. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Frank Vandenbroucke’s only result in 2007 came at GP Stad Kortrijk where he placed third behind Nico Mattan and Stijn Devolder.

Frank Vandenbroucke’s only result in 2007 came at GP Stad Kortrijk where he placed third behind Nico Mattan and Stijn Devolder. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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During a successful year on the bike Frank Vandenbroucke made unwanted headlines in 1999 when he was arrested by French police but later released.

During a successful year on the bike Frank Vandenbroucke made unwanted headlines in 1999 when he was arrested by French police but later released. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Omloop Het Volk victory was just the tip of the iceberg in Frank Vandenbroucke’s most successful season of racing while with Cofidis in 1999.

Omloop Het Volk victory was just the tip of the iceberg in Frank Vandenbroucke’s most successful season of racing while with Cofidis in 1999. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Frank Vandenbroucke leads the peloton over Alto de Vel Valle during the 17th stage of the 1999 Vuelta a Espana, between Bronchales and Guadalajara.

Frank Vandenbroucke leads the peloton over Alto de Vel Valle during the 17th stage of the 1999 Vuelta a Espana, between Bronchales and Guadalajara. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Frank Vandenbroucke married former model Sarah Pinacci in 2000, with the couple having a daughter 12 months later.

Frank Vandenbroucke married former model Sarah Pinacci in 2000, with the couple having a daughter 12 months later. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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In 2002 Frank Vandenbroucke was taken into custody after authorities found banned substances at the rider’s house during a search of the residence.

In 2002 Frank Vandenbroucke was taken into custody after authorities found banned substances at the rider’s house during a search of the residence. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Frank Vandenbrouche with wife Sarah and three-year-old daughter Margaux in 2004.

Frank Vandenbrouche with wife Sarah and three-year-old daughter Margaux in 2004. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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In his last year at Mapei a victory at Gent-Wevelgem was the beginning of the two year pinnacle of Frank Vandenbroucke’s career.

In his last year at Mapei a victory at Gent-Wevelgem was the beginning of the two year pinnacle of Frank Vandenbroucke’s career. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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While he wasn't riding with the Belgian squad, Frank Vandenbroucke attended last month's UCI World Road Championships in Switzerland before going on holiday.

While he wasn't riding with the Belgian squad, Frank Vandenbroucke attended last month's UCI World Road Championships in Switzerland before going on holiday. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Frank Vandenbrouche battled with Michel Bartoli at the 1998 Liège - Bastogne - Liège, before returning to win the race a year later.

Frank Vandenbrouche battled with Michel Bartoli at the 1998 Liège - Bastogne - Liège, before returning to win the race a year later. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Michele Barotli narrowly beats Frank Vandenbroucke to win Zuri Metzgete in 1998.

Michele Barotli narrowly beats Frank Vandenbroucke to win Zuri Metzgete in 1998. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Zuri Metzgete podium in 1998: Frank Vandenbroucke, Michele Bartoli and Salvatore Commesso.

Zuri Metzgete podium in 1998: Frank Vandenbroucke, Michele Bartoli and Salvatore Commesso. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Frank Vandenbroucke rides again at Het Volk, four years after winning the race himself. The Belgian rode a full Spring Classics campaign in 2003 while riding for Quick Step.

Frank Vandenbroucke rides again at Het Volk, four years after winning the race himself. The Belgian rode a full Spring Classics campaign in 2003 while riding for Quick Step. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Frank Vandenbroucke rode Paris-Roubaix in 2003 while riding for Quick Step-Davitamon. The season was his most successful since 1999.

Frank Vandenbroucke rode Paris-Roubaix in 2003 while riding for Quick Step-Davitamon. The season was his most successful since 1999. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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2003 saw Frank Vandenbroucke re-unite once again with Patrick Lefevère at his Quick Step-Davitamon squad. Vandenbroucke rode for Lefevère’s Mapei from 1995 to 1998.

2003 saw Frank Vandenbroucke re-unite once again with Patrick Lefevère at his Quick Step-Davitamon squad. Vandenbroucke rode for Lefevère’s Mapei from 1995 to 1998. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Things were looking up for Frank Vandenbroucke in 2003 when he rode strongly at Ronde van Vlaanderen.

Things were looking up for Frank Vandenbroucke in 2003 when he rode strongly at Ronde van Vlaanderen. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Frank Vandenbroucke was even in the running for the Tour of Flanders title in 2003 while riding for Quick Step-Davitamon. He fell frustratingly short as Peter Van Petegem won the race for his old team.

Frank Vandenbroucke was even in the running for the Tour of Flanders title in 2003 while riding for Quick Step-Davitamon. He fell frustratingly short as Peter Van Petegem won the race for his old team. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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After finishing second one year earlier Frank Vandenbroucke returns to claim honours at Liège – Bastogne – Liège in 1999.

After finishing second one year earlier Frank Vandenbroucke returns to claim honours at Liège – Bastogne – Liège in 1999. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Considered one of the most talented riders of his generation, Frank Vandenbroucke's time on this earth was too short, as was his tenure in ranks of professional cycling.

While his star shone brightly, its beams were short-lived, giving fans plenty of joy for a brief time. They held onto the memories for the remainder of his life and 'VDB' was a sporadic topic of discussion amongst aficionados familiar with Vandenbroucke's exploits in 1999.

Whilst that extremely successful season with Cofidis established the Belgian as a bona fide star of the sport, the events following that year gained him the notoriety for which he was remembered in recent times. Drugs, depression and a general downward spiral spelled the end for the man from Kortrijk.

Cyclingnews brings you images from the career of 'the golden boy', who died yesterday at the age of 34.

Things were looking up for Frank Vandenbroucke in 2003 when he rode strongly at Ronde van Vlaanderen.

In his last year at Mapei a victory at Gent-Wevelgem was the beginning of the two year pinnacle of Frank Vandenbroucke’s career.

Michele Bartoli narrowly beats Frank Vandenbroucke to win Zuri Metzgete in 1998.

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