Nick Nuyens: “I have learned to deal with throwing up”
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nick Nuyens: “I have learned to deal with throwing up”

by Ben Atkins at 12:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders
Ronde van Vlaanderen winner explains how he is now able to push himself further than before

nick nuyensNick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-SunGard) had long been touted as a potential big Classic winner but, until this year, he was just unable to make the grade when it mattered. Help from a mental coach has helped him to push himself much further, according to Sporza, overcoming a fear of something that was holding him back at the end of hard races.

“As a sportsman you sometimes go so deep that you throw up,” he explained to Belgian Radio 1 programme Touché. “I can do that now.”

Prior to this season Nuyens’ list of victories included the Omloop Het Volk [now called Omloop Het Nieuwsblad – ed], Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, Paris-Brussels and three editions of the GP de Wallonie, but he had so far fallen just short in the biggest Classics of all.

This season though, he finally made it; he won the Ronde van Vlaanderen – the ultimate race for any Flemish cyclist – and he knows one reason that he was able to achieve it.

“I long had a fear of throwing up,” he said. “My mental coach has taught me to deal with it.”

Obviously, the feeling is still quite unpleasant, but being able to push himself until he is physically sick now allows him to compete at the end of the toughest races, and sustain his maximum effort for longer.

“I still don’t like it, but it’s certainly helped me,” he explained. “Previously I wouldn’t have been able to go so deep, and I would have subconsciously broken off my effort.”

Nuyens will start next year’s Ronde with the honour of the number ‘1’ dossard on his back. With the finale to the race looking much tougher in 2012, with the three ascents each of the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg in the closing stages, Nuyens will surely need to call upon his new ability if he is to compete at the Oudenaarde finish line.


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