Quick-Step rider Serge Baguet is currently suffering from severe back pain and will not be able to race in the upcoming Ardennes Classics in Belgium. The 2001 Tour de France stage winner will be ending his career after this season and hopes that his health problems will still improve.
"I'm going to be 38 years old [this season]," he told Sportwereld. "I therefore don't have a problem to conclude my career, but not in this way.
"I've been racing under pain for a while, but this week I also felt it during training," he continued. "I was scheduled to take part in the Tour of the Basque Country (April 9-14), but I don't see that happening at the moment. It doesn't make any sense."
The Belgian will instead rest for a few days and try to race again at the one-day races Rund um Köln and GP Pino Cerami on April 9 and 12 respectively. Fortunately, his team management hasn't put any pressure on him. "The team lets me do it my own way," he continued. "[Patrick] Lefevere let me know that I can decide myself when I'll be ready to return to racing. That's really nice of him."
Baguet's objectives this season include the Belgian Championships, which take place in Ronse this year. "That's where I rode my first Belgian Champs - I'd like to come full circle on July 1," he concluded.