Nick Nuyens: “You shouldn’t change something that works”
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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Nick Nuyens: “You shouldn’t change something that works”

by Ben Atkins at 6:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders
 
Ronde van Vlaanderen winner will take a similar approach to his spring campaign, even though it means missing the start of the Belgian Classics

nick nuyensNick Nuyens is currently in Israel, at the first Saxo Bank team training camp of the 2012 season. The 31-year-old from Lier, in the province of Antwerp, Belgium, is coming off the back of one of his best seasons to date, which saw him take the biggest victory of his career to date, in the Ronde van Vlaanderen.

As Nuyens told Sporza, it’s not wise to change a winning formula, and so his 2012 spring will look very similar to that of 2011.

“I’m going to talk with Bjarne Riis this week, but I’ve heard that we’re going to miss the Openingsweekend [Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, February 25th/26th – ed] again,” said Nuyens. “I think that’s unfortunate but I’m not going to try to insist too much when I look at the results of 2011. If I win the Ronde van Vlaanderen again then the decision was easy.”

Last spring saw Nuyens win the Dwars door Vlaanderen [Across Flanders – ed] in late March, before winning the Ronde a week and a half later. Such a winning return makes it unlikely that his manager will be likely to do things differently this time around, even though he has won both the Omloop and Kuurne in the past.

“I don’t think that Riis’ opinion will change quickly on the Openingsweekend,” Nuyens conceded. “You shouldn’t change something that works.”

Although his victory will see Nuyens start the 2012 race as one of the big favourites, he is keen to deflect the pressure.

“I’ll be different this year, and I will also be different at the start of the Ronde van Vlaanderen,” he said. “I’ve never pinned everything on the Ronde van Vlaanderen, but it’s the race that suits me best.”

Obviously, for a Flemish rider, Nuyens will have the Ronde van Vlaanderen in his sights once more; with more than a month of Classics-style races though, he will happily take results in others.

“I’m focussing on the Ronde this year, but all of the races in the period interest me,” he said. “If I can pick something up then that’s fantastic; there are plenty of races.

“But there are still goals later in the year,” he added. “I’m thinking about the Olympics and the World championships in Valkenberg [Netherlands]. The World championship circuit is very attractive, for myself and for the Belgian team.”

As a top ten finisher in the Amstel Gold Race in the past, Nuyens is doubtlessly eying up the Cauberg finish of this year’s Worlds race; should he take a second victory in the Ronde van Vlaanderen though, his season – and career – will be made.

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