Former Tour of Flanders winner Nick Nuyens is expected to announce his retirement this afternoon, according to Het Nieuwsblad. The Belgian rider has called a press conference where it is believed that he will confirm his departure from the sport after failing to secure a contract for the 2015.
Nuyens turned professional in 2003 with the QuickStep-Davitamon team, with whom he took victories at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Omloop Het Volk and the Tour of Britain. His biggest success came in 2011 where he beat Sylvain Chavanel and Fabian Cancellara in a sprint to take victory at the Tour of Flanders. It would turn out to be the final victory of his career.
He was unable to defend his title after fracturing his hip in a crash and further complications with his recovery prevented him from making a serious comeback. Nuyens had hoped that 2014 would be his year but he had to take time off to undergo surgery for a cardiac arrhythmia. Nuyens has been searching for a team since September last year, stating that his future with Garmin was non-existent.
Dutch rider Karsten Kroon, who is also calling it quits this season, has talked to Dutch broadcaster Limburg 1 about his struggles with the same condition at Nuyens in an interview this week.
"I had some trouble with cardiac arrhythmias," said Kroon. "I was well prepared, because it is a risk to do nothing at all. If you do sports for so many years, your heart is so big and strong. Your heart can then beat very fast or slow, or it can stand still. And that's annoying."
The former Tinkoff-Saxo rider announced his retirement ahead of the Japan Cup at the end of last season and now plans on putting his experience to use as a commentator for Eurosport and tester of new equipment. He will also accompany a bike ride from Tebet to Nepal. “I think it is going to get difficult, but we’ll get through it,” he said of the ride.