By Bjorn Haake in Ponferrada
Nick Nuyens had a great stage 15 escape in the Vuelta a España and finished second in the end. His strong moves towards the end were not rewarded and eventually he had to let the relatively unknown David García (Xacobeo Galicia) get away for the solo victory.
Nuyens came really close of forcing the decisive solo move in the end. "When I attacked it seemed to be a good moment. I was almost gone," he said. Nuyens was eventually brought back by an armada of Spaniards all hoping to win a stage of their home Tour. "Three Spaniards against a Belgian, that was impossible."
Another well known secret about the Belgian was also not lost on the lead group. "They knew that I am fast in a small-group sprint; maybe I should have stayed and tried for that [the sprint]." Either way, the attacks from the Spanish riders would have made it unlikely that the group of four would have stayed together until the end.
Both the weather and the terrain didn’t play to the strengths of the Belgian either, who is far more suited to the shorter climbs in the Flemish races which he prefers. "It felt like seven times the Berendries!"
Although it didn't work out, Nuyens took the chance he has been waiting for in this year’s Vuelta. "Today was one of them. Well, it didn't succeed, in the end, [but] I will see how I recover from today..."
Nuyens may still be without a win this season, but that hasn't hampered his ambitions to win the World Championships in Varese on September 28.
"I want to be on the start line for the World Championships, my condition is good; which has now been confirmed," he told Sporza.
The Belgian team has yet to be named, but after strong seasons from many of his countrymen, Nuyens believes that whoever is on the start line will be a threat for the title. "There are five Belgians who can win in Varese."
"I can say that I have ambitions to become World Champion. Whether it comes off is another story," he concluded.