Nick Nuyens has decided to sit out the rest of the spring season. After having to abandon the E3 Harelbeke on Friday, he said that he would take a long break to try and solve the problems still associated with the hip fracture he suffered more than a year ago.
“I had no choice,” he told sporza.be. “I couldn't do anything to help the team. You can't even speak of a spring.”
Ironically, the 32-year-old, who won the Tour of Flanders in 2011, joined Garmin-Sharp this year to lead them in the spring classics. However, he fractured his hip in a crash at Paris-Nice in 2012, and underwent surgery in September.
"The muscle in my hip is still too weak,” he said. “I can not push on my pedals and then you compensate. It's a chain reaction."
"I'm now a strength program together with physiotherapist David Bombeke. I need that muscle training separately, because the bike is impossible. I know what I must do."
The situation leaves him with “a lot of frustration. I could follow the peloton with difficulty. Up until the Omloop I felt good, but since then it has only diminished. The burden was too much.”
Nuyens is not sure where he will go from here. “I must now shift my focus and find other goals. I must admit that I have doubts about myself but I must be patient and persevere. Everyone assures me that I will come back to my level."