Frank Vandenbroucke, who has been spending most of his time in Italy this summer, is reported by the Belgian press to have signed with Italian Continental Pro team Acqua&Sapone-Caffe Mokambo, directed by Palmiro Masciarelli. The eccentric cyclist made the headlines recently for participating in Italian amateur races with a false license (under the name of Francesco Del Ponte, and with a photo of World Champion Tom Boonen), after being fired by his former team Unibet.com for a lack of racing appearances.
But Masciarelli decided to give VDB another chance. "He's not as crazy as they say," said the team director. "He admitted that he did stupid things in his life, but also that he needed support when things get bad. Do you think that's weird? All top sportsmen know that feeling. When things do well, everybody acclaims you, but in less good times you're on your own. That was his problem."
Vandenbroucke will debut in Acqua&Sapone colours on September 16 at the GP Misano-Adriatico, to be followed by the GP Prato, Memorial Cimurri, Coppa Sabatini, Giro dell'Emilia, GP Beghelli, Giro del Piemont the Giro di Lombardia. His contract runs through the end of 2007.