Tuesday, October 12, 2010

RIP VDB - One Year Later

Exactly one year ago today, Frank Vandenbroucke was found dead in a hotel room in Senegal. He was just 34.

Cyclingnews.com attempts to provide an update on the VDB tragedy, here. Frank's death was a catastrophe and so much more than the loss of just another former rider. Words fail me - I just can't effectively express how raw the feeling still is. That's why I believe in the Belgian VDB tribute site, www.VDB4-ever.be.


  1. Why did VDB's death impact you so much? Were you friends with him? I want to be clear that I am not tryig to be ugly or minimize the death of a young man, I'm just trying to understand why you've reacted the way you have. Thanks.

  2. No worries, I don't think you're minimizing his death or being ugly and I understand your curiosity. I wouldn't be so presumptuous as to say I was friend of the guy, though we'd me and were to have been teammates on Cinelli (which evolved out of 2006's Whistle team). I could identify with many of the struggles that VDB faced and realized how difficult to conquer they could be within the world of professional cycling. The fact that he'd seemingly beaten back most of his demons and was genuinely reinvigorated for the first time in some years - only to be suddenly dead, in questionable, then disappointing circumstances...it was heart-breaking. As if no matter what VDB did or didn't do, a premature end was always going to be his. Whether he fought diligently or gave into his demons, in the end it didn't seem to matter and just like that he was gone. I guess when you perceive similarities in whatever respect between yourself and another, or your situations, and when your opposite doesn't succeed, it can affect you profoundly. I don't know what else I can say other than his death was a tragedy and its too bad he HAD such freedom and power early-on. Perhaps if he'd been controlled more dictatorially, he himself could have better controlled his demons. Of course, maybe the same would have happened no matter what. It's just a shame. A stupid loss.


Pappillon welcomes your comments and encourages your participation. However, in commenting, you agree that you will not:1) Post material that infringes on the rights of any third party, including intellectual property, privacy or publicity rights. 2) Post material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, slanderous, hateful, or embarrassing to any other person or entity as determined by Pappillon in its sole discretion. 3) Impersonate another person.