By Gregor Brown in Le Grand-Bornand
Nick Nuyens of Cofidis is currently 35 minutes back in the overall general classification of the 2007 Tour de France but he is only concerned with making it through the three-week race and helping his aggressive team. The Belgian had been sick in the opening days of the Tour and will play the numbers game over the next few days.
"Gruppetto," said 27 year-old Nuyens to Cyclingnews when asked the secret of survival in the Alps and Pyrénées. "It is possible to get into an escape. I have to wait for my legs to arrive. The first days were not so good because I was a little bit sick and I had to take antibiotics, and I really did not feel well. But it is getting better."
He took satisfaction from the escape of his British teammate, Bradley Wiggins, in stage six. "I don't know... I think it was really hard for him but he did a nice job. Sometimes you go to the finish and most of the time not but at least he tried. It was good publicity for the team." He is impressed with the team's visibility. "Three times we had the most aggressive rider out of six stages, so it is going well for us."
The media has been comparing Wiggins to the Beatles of the sixties due to his haircut; Nuyens thought it was funny. "I don't know, he has to make a choice for himself," he said regarding Wiggins' hair. "He is really a good guy and I have laughs with him, it is good to be in the team with him. ... I am rooming with Staf Scheirlinckx; we speak Dutch. In the team we normally speak French but with Moreni it is Italian and Bradley, English. We have a good atmosphere in the team."
As the days get hotter the fair-skinned Belgian applies the sun block. "I don't like it. I put on a lot of sun block and I never get burned, I never get a nice colour. I always become red." Even if the temperatures are in the thirties Nuyens is amazed by the tifosi. "The crowds here in the mountains are impressive, it gets better everyday. They help me get over the mountains with their enthusiasm."