Nick Nuyens was proud of his 20th place finish in Saturday's Tour de France prologue, noting he had worked on his time trialling. But he still has in his head the crash early this season in which he broke his hip, the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank rider said.
The Belgian covered the 6.4km course through Liege in 7:33, only twenty seconds slower than winner Fabian Cancellara. “If I had taken more risks, then I would have had an even better time,” he told the Belga news agency.
“I didn't go all out in the corners. I would have ridden five seconds faster, but in a prologue it comes down to such small matters.”
He crashed on the opening time trial of Paris-Nice the beginning of March, and was later found to have a fracture in his right hip. He missed the Spring Classics and didn't return to racing until the Four Days of Dunkirk last month.
But it wasn't until the recent Tour de Suisse that he felt back in shape again. “What I felt during the Tour de Suisse, I still feel. I'm ready for the Tour. I trained a lot with the time trial bike, which has now borne fruit.”
The events of this spring remain with him, though. “The crash in Paris-Nice is still in my head. I have a hellish period behind me and had almost a half year rehabilitation and work to get back into condition. That does something to a man.”