Like many cycling fans I was saddened today to learn of the death of Frank Vandenbroucke. I have never seen him race and only knew of him through the column inches he’s continued to generate. To me he seemed a likeable but troubled soul who failed to fulfil his potential, much like Pantani. Whatever the sport and for whatever reason, it’s generally disquieting to see our sporting heroes generating press coverage outside of the sporting pages.
No doubt there will be endless speculation about what caused his premature departure from this earth, even after a post-mortem. This will be particularly distressing for the family and friends he’s left behind and serves little useful purpose. Indeed Frank, and other sportsmen like him, would be better served if someone tried to understand what drove them to go astray and helped prevent others following a similarly destructive path.