Tour of Flanders: Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-Sungard) was the toast of Flanders after his win.
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2011 winner underlines the key role of the Oude Kwaremont
Tour of Flanders winner Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-Sungard) will wait and see before judging the new route of the race. 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.
"It's a pity that the Muur, the Bosberg and also the finish changes,” Nuyens told Cyclingnews. "But we have to give it a chance."
Nuyens was non-committal as to his opinion of the new course and he is not sure if it will be tougher or not. With the riders tackling the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg three times, however, the race will certainly have a different feel.
"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.
The Flemish classics take all of Nuyens' energy and decide for his schedule for the year. "I start the season really, really early, at the beginning of February, and now I will stay one month off my bike," he said in early October, at the Tour of Beijing, his last race in 2012.
In the third week of November, he will begin training with some running, and then will gradually increase his preparation until the beginning of December - "the more serious" things, he says.
2011 was the 31-year-old Nuyens’ first season at Bjarne Riis' team. As well as the Tour of Flanders, he won the semi-Classic Dwars door Vlaanderen and came third in the Klasika Primavera, in Spain.
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