Nick Nuyens is ready to return to his beloved Spring Classics but is still recovering from complications arising from his fractured hip. Now with Garmin-Sharp, the Belgian said that he plans to be 100 per cent again for the Tour of Flanders.
In 2012, whilst with Team Saxo Bank, he crashed in the opening stage of Paris-Nice. He finished the stage but was later diagnosed with a fractured right hip, which kept him out of competition for two months. Nuyens returned to a full programme, including the Tour de France, but continued to have pains.
“In September I had to have a scan,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “It turned out that the bones hadn't healed. The two pieces were 1.5cm apart. And I rode the Tour .... and not even that badly!”
His form had been good, but “I rode with half a leg.” He had surgery to re-assemble the bone, “but they had to cut through the muscle. And you can't restore that in two months.”
One difficulty he now faces, he said, is that “there is a difference in strength between my left and my right legs. The problem is that last year I learned to compensate with the left. I really had to think to even pedal hard with my right leg. It wasn't easy, but subconsciously you save yourself that way.”
Nuyens opened his season at the Mallorca Challenge and is scheduled to ride in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on February 23, a race he won in 2005 when it was called Omloop Het Volk. This week he test-rode the course with his teammates.
He hopes to play a role in the race, but “I have no reference” as to how well he will do. “I've not raced against the favourites for the Spring. I've only ridden in Mallorca.
“But the condition is good. I'm still not 100 percent, but that will come. 100 percent, that is what I have to be at the Tour of Flanders,” which he won in 2011.
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