Frank Vandenbroucke to sue UCI - Fans outraged and planning more protest

Special Coverage Vuelta Espana 2008
Saul's corner
Race reports
Peloton TV
Picture gallery
Other stories
Riders diaries
Live coverage
Cyclingheroes Forum
Book reviews
Special Coverage
Hall of Fame
Cyclingheroes shop
Race calender
Cyclinheroes Flash-news archive

03.03.2008/ The International Cycling Union (UCI) granted a wildcard status to Frank Vandenbroucke's Mitsubishi - Jartazi on Friday but the UCI demanded from the Estonian team that Frank Vandenbroucke would not start at Pro - Tour races. Frank Vandenbroucke announced that he will sue the UCI and his fans demonstrated on Saturday at the start of 'Omloop Het Volk'.

© Cyclingheroes
Frank Vandenbroucke will sue the UCI (© Cyclingheroes)

On Friday the UCI announced that Mitsubishi - Jartazi is granted a wildcard status. But Friday night Mitsubishi - Jartazi announced that the team received the wildcard status under one condition: the team is not allowed to let Frank Vandenbroucke start at Pro - Tour races.

The UCI demand is surprising as its unclear on which UCI rule the decision was based on. Team manager Patrick Stallaert told HLN.TV on Saturday: "Its a hard decision and it took us by surprise. We will have a meeting with our sponsor to discuss what we'll do now. There are several other riders who were banned in the past, but are allowed to start at Pro-Tour races. The decision is based on nothing. There are no rules anymore  and if we ask the UCI we don't get an answer."

Stallaert is upset by the UCI decision: "If they don't want to let him race then they shouldn't have granted him a license. First they give him a license and then they say he is not allowed to race. Sorry, I don't understand. It was all rather strange. At 4 pm (Friday, editor) we received information that the UCI wouldn't take a decision on that day. They informed us that they have send a fax to the organisation of the Tour of Falnders that the 30 days rule [Teams with a wildcard status have to apply for a wildcard 30 days in advance at the race organisation, editor] would not count for us as the UCI didn't take a decision yet. And then we received a fax with this decision on 8.30 pm. Nobody understands."

Stallaert continued angrily saying that: "We talked with our sponsor [Mitsubishi, editor] and they paid the money for a wildcard to the UCI. And then suddenly the UCI came with conditions. They should have told us about the conditions first. Afterall they knew before that Vandenbroucke is part of our team. I have a problem with this. We did everything we could to bring a new sponsor to cycling. Its a sponsor which believes in cycling. It isn't easy and it wasn't easy but now the body which should govern cycling is destroying the sport."

Protest during 'Het Volk' (©

Retired pro rider and friend of Vandenbroucke Nico Mattan works as a co-commentator for Sporza Radio now. On Saturday Mattan said on Sporza Radio: "I don't understand this. There is no UCI rule that justifies this decision. They are trying to destroy him [Vandenbroucke, editor]. He knows that he is not going to win races like Tour of Flanders or Liège - Bastogen - Liège anymore, he just want to ride them. He told me he is considering to retire." Mattan also said that Vandenbroucke did not offend any UCI rule in 2006 as he raced under a false name for a so-called 'wild' federation: "He didn't had an UCI license at that time." 
But Vandenbroucke's manager Paul De Geyter told that VDB is not going to give up and that he will sue the UCI. De Geyter said: "We will sue the UCI. What the UCI is doing is illegal and unacceptable. They gave him a license and then they say he is not allowed to race. That is banning somebody from his profession."
The UCI motivated the decision to ban Vandenbroucke from Pro - Tour races that he was banned in 2002 after a doping case and that he still has contact with 'Docotor Mabuse' alias Bernard Sainz. The UCI also did not accept that Vandenbroucke raced with a picture of Tom Bonnen and under the false name Francesco Del Ponte for the dissident 'wild' Italian Federation Udace. Vandenbroucke said: "I didn't have a team at that time. By the way, last year with Aqua & Sapone I was allowed to ride all races."
Frank Vandenbroucke told Belgian daily newspaper 'De Morgen': "They are going after me. But they will pay for this." An angry Vandenbroucke said: "I can understand their concern a little bit about my doping case from 2002. Even though they would have to ban 50 riders for that. The reasoning about the false license is completely absurd. I was riding for a 'wild'  Italian federation. I don't have to justify myself to the UCI for that."
At the start of Saturdays 'Omloop Het Volk' Vandenbroucke fans protested against the UCI with transparents. At the forum of the VDB fansite fans are discussing further actions.

Join our forum and discuss the career of Frank Vandenbroucke

Back to:

Special Coverage Tour of Flanders 2008

Back to:

Other stories

Link: New Cyclingheroes Website

Custom Search

By clicking to an outside link from our website, you automatically release us from any and all liability. Cyclingheroes has no control over the content of outside links, or sites linked from there, nor do we endorse anything that may be of a illegal and/or vulgar nature. Cyclingheroes provides outside links only as a free service to our readers.