By Shane Stokes in Palermo
Many of those who targeted the spring Classics have eased back on their racing with a view to building back up for the Tour de France, but Nick Nuyens will be competing in the Giro d'Italia and trying to take a stage.
The 28 year-old Cofidis rider was second on home soil in both Het Volk and the Tour of Flanders, and now turns his attention to three weeks of Italian racing. "I think I am ready but it is a really hard Giro," he told Cyclingnews at the teams' presentation on Thursday evening. "In the first week there are possibilities for riders like me, but it will be a difficult race."
Nuyens had an unscheduled chance to recharge his batteries after the Northern Classics. "I had some problems with my knee after Flanders and also in Roubaix. I took a break of one week... you lose a bit [of form], but not too much.
"I then started again in Romandie. I got my rhythm back, and I think now I am ready. I will have to see how long it will last, but I hope I have form for the three weeks."
After the Giro, he is likely to take a break and then do the Vuelta as preparation for the World Championships. According to Nuyens, he is unlikely to ride the Tour de France this year.