Two months ago a bad crash in the prologue at Paris-Nice put an end to Nick Nuyens' hopes for the spring classics, but The Saxo Bank rider is now finally returning to action and will be at the start line of the Four Days of Dunkirk Friday with one eye on the Tour de France.
“I' glad to be back again, although I have problems,” he told Sportwereld.be.
The Belgian's front wheel slipped on a descent in the time trial and he went hip-first into a traffic island. He somehow managed to finish the stage and took the start again the next day, but had to abandon within the neutralized zone. The fracture did not require surgery.
Nuyens, who won the Tour of Flanders in 2011, was due to lead Saxo Bank in the spring classics. He ended up missing that whole part of the season, and the rest of the team was unable to fill the void on the cobbles.
Now, however, the 31-year-old is back on his bike and looking forward to riding out the rest of the season. He hopes to finish Dunkirk. “I need this in order to get a competitive rhythm. If I do, then I will ride the Tour of Norway, and then go via the Tour de Suisse to the Tour (de France, ed.)
“If not, then I will probably ride the Tour de Picardy or the Bayern Rundfahrt. Then I will train another 10 days.”
But the Tour de France is his ultimate focus now. “That race has now become a major goal. If I do well, I will ride the Tour. And of course with the intention of making the best of it.”
The Tour this year is followed by the 2012 London Olympics, although he realized that participation there is less likely. “That interests me enormously,” he told the Gazet van Antwerpen. “I realize that (Belgian national) coach Bomans has a difficult task. He can select only five riders and his squad must be fixed by July 9.”