Rik Verbrugghe rode in the professional peleton from 1996 thru 2008. A time trial specialist, he was Belgian champion in that discipline in 2000, and he won a number of prologues, including at the 2001 Giro d’Italia, and he wore the pink leader jersey for four days. His best grand tour result was 9th in the 2002 Giro, while winning stage 15 of the 2001 Tour de France, and a total of three stages at the Giro d’Italia. Verbrugge also won La Flèche Wallonne in 2001, after finishing second in that classic in 2000. After retiring he became director sportif of the Quick Step team.