Belgian says Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne unlikey
Having made it back-to-back race wins at the Dwars door Vlaanderen and then the Tour of Flanders just over a week later in 2011, Saxo Bank's Nick Nuyens believes that the winning formula was struck will look to do the same this coming season.
Speaking to Sporza at the Saxo Bank team camp in Israel, Nuyens said that although this plan will again likely mean missing Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne – two races he won in 2005 and 2006 respectively – his overall focus must remain the De Ronde.
"If I win the Tour of Flanders again then the decision was easy," he said before conceding he will be one of the favourites for the race.
"Just as I'll be different throughout the year and I will be different at the start of the Tour of Flanders," he says.
"I've never focussed entirely on the Tour of Flanders, but it's the race where I'm at my best.
"I will focus this year on the Tour [of Flanders], but all races in this period interest me. If I can get a win, then that's fantastic. There are plenty of opportunities."
De Ronde has finished in Meerbeke since 1973, but the finale will be altered in 2012. The race will no longer tackle the Muur van Geraardsbergen and the Bosberg and will instead finish in Oudenaarde.
Nuyens recently told Cyclingnews that the changes to the parcours means that in some respects the race will be an unknown quantity.
"It will be a new experience for everybody, the spectators and the riders," he said. "Three times up the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg will be hard. The atmosphere around will be really special there as the spectators can stay there." Previously the Muur was the popular heart of the race, but was only climbed once.
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