Fractured hip diagnosis puts Nick Nuyens’ Ronde van Vlaanderen defence out of reach
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fractured hip diagnosis puts Nick Nuyens’ Ronde van Vlaanderen defence out of reach

by Ben Atkins at 12:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders, Injury
Serious setback for Saxo Bank’s Classics captain after Paris-Nice time trial crash

nick nuyensAfter first thinking that he had suffered no broken bones, after his crash in the wet opening time trial of Paris-Nice, Saxo Bank Nick Nuyens has since discovered a slight fracture to his hip. This will now mean an enforced two-week lay off for the Ronde van Vlaanderen champion, which will seriously affect his chances of a successful defence of Flanders’ biggest race.

With Vlaanderens Mooiste’s April 1st date fast approaching, it now looks highly unlikely that the 31-year-old will even be on the Brugge start line.

“This is an enormous blow to me personally and to the team, and I'm of course very sad right now,” said Nuyens. “I really felt I was on schedule to peak again in Tour of Flanders, and I was looking very much forward to defend my victory. But now I know this is not going to happen.

“Crashes do happen in cycling,” he added. “That's just the way it is, and I have to accept that, but this crash couldn't come at a worse time.”

Immediately after his crash, in the rainy 9.4km test between Dampierre and Chevreuse, Nuyens was taken to local hospital, where he received the good news that nothing was broken and originally intended to start yesterday’s second stage. On his return to Belgium however, he visited a specialist, who discovered a small fracture.

“We all feel very sorry for Nick today, as we all knew how much he was looking forward to coming back to the Tour of Flanders and defending last year's great win,” said team owner Bjarne Riis. “And this is also very sad news for the whole team. We were really looking forward to supporting him in the coming weeks, and Nick showed great signs that his peak form was right in front of him.

“Now we just wish him a speedy recovery, and I'm sure he will return strong and eager to make his mark in other races,” the Dane added.

Nuyens’ injury also puts pressure on the Danish team, whose presence in the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour is under threat, having lost most of its points after the retrospective suspension of Alberto Contador.


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