Nick Nuyens has been dealt a few blows in his career, but none have troubled him more than his current hip injury. The Belgian crashed at last year’s Paris-Nice and missed the entire classics season. A year and a new team later Nuyens’ attempts to find form continue to run into hurdles.
The Garmin-Sharp rider will take on Gent-Wevelgem this weekend. Despite the knockbacks and assertions that he’s not yet ready, he still believes he can win. Nuyens talks to Cyclingnews HD about his road to recovery and his hopes for 2013.
CN HD: How frustrating was last year, with your injury?
Nick Nuyens: “Really frustrating, because, in the beginning, nobody thought it was that serious. It was hard to miss the classics. You feel like things aren’t going the way you want them to go, but then it keeps going like that. Condition wise I was good and I felt my body was ready to compete, but I couldn’t use the power. Every time I went on the power my back got twisted, because the muscle on the right side wasn’t strong enough. After a while I went to the hospital, because I’d had enough. They saw the bone was still open by about one and a half centimetres. It wasn’t connected to the bone but to the tissue, in between. The doctor said I needed surgery and two days later I was having surgery.”
CN HD: Do you feel ready to challenge in the classics?
NN: “No I’m not ready. I feel I’m on schedule with my recovery, but I still have a long way to go. I need to work on my right leg, because I’m missing power. For more than half a year I was riding with only one leg. In surgery they had to cut the muscle to reach it and that isn’t good for the muscle. To get back is a lot of time and a lot of work, but I feel like I’m in good hands and I’ve seen a lot of improvement in the last two months. It gives me hope, but it is also a lot of work.”
CN HD: Can you win a Classic this year?
NN: “I believe I can do it. If I didn’t then it would be better to stop. It will happen, that is not a question. If I’m ready, I don’t know, we will see. You can recover better with positive spirit then being negative all the time.”
CN HD: Does it knock your confidence or does it make you feel more determined?
NN: “It’s always hard to come back because you lose part of the season. The world keeps on going and they don’t wait for you. Coming back during the season is really hard. Sometimes it is frustrating and it’s hard for the head. On the other hand because of that my win in Flanders was really important, because I also came back after a really hard year and it is good for your confidence. Every time that you come back and perform on a high level, you will find the motivation to come back on a higher level. When you try to come back and you don’t succeed and then something else happens, it is a lot harder.”
Issue 46 of our digital magazine Cyclingnews HD is out now, and features the full exclusive interview with Nick Nuyens. The issue also looks back on the epic Milan-San Remo and the opening stages of Volta a Catalunya. We preview the first of the weekend’s cobbled races Gent-Wevelgem and E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke with interactive maps, profiles and start lists.
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With over 50 pages packed with new and original content every Wednesday, alongside all the latest reports and results, Cyclingnews HD is the best way to enjoy a roadside seat at all the season’s biggest and best races.
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