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Serge Pauwels (Sky Professional Cycling Team)
Belgian thrown back this season by injuries and illness
Serge Pauwels is trying to recommend himself to Team Sky for the Tour de France, but knows it is an uphill battle. The Belgian has not ridden much this year due to various problems.
“Because of crashes, knee troubles and sickness, this has not been my season,” he told the Gazet van Antwerpen. After abandoning Vuelta a Andalucia, Paris-Nice and the Volta a Catalunya, he sat out a month before tackling the Tour de Romandie, which he completed.
“After a forced rest, I would able to race again in Romandie, but with the hand brake on. In the last stage I could follow the best climbers. That was a good sign.”
The 26-year-old has not competed since the race ended a month ago. “In practice, the results are good, but now I mainly need the rhythm. I sat out after Romandie because the team didn't have anything else on its programme. Perhaps my freshness will be an advantage.”
Hoping to ride his first Tour de France this year, Pauwels said, “If I am selected for the Tour, it would be based on my skills and the team's confidence in me.” He added that he would like to help Bradley Wiggins and Thomas Lövkvist in the race, as he helped Carlos Sastre in the Giro d'Italia last year.
There is another reason why this year's Tour is so important to him. “Obviously it would be painful for me to miss the Tour, since it goes through my home area.”