Pauwels a no go for the Ardennes
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pauwels a no go for the Ardennes

by Jered Gruber at 1:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Team Sky's 26-year-old Belgian talent, Serge Pauwels, has had a nightmare start to his 2010 campaign. His list of maladies reads like any bike racer's worst nightmare:

"I did very well over the winter, but then the problems started. I got a stomach flu, and then at the Ruta del Sol, I crashed. In Paris-Nice, I got bronchitis, and then I finally succumbed to inflammation in my knee."

Pauwels returned to racing at this week's Brabantse Pijl and admitted that he "had trouble," but isn't too concerned. The first highlight to his season was supposed to be the Ardennes Classics, but they will be a wash for him in 2010. Pauwels will not take the start in any of the three Classics. He will, however, race the Tour de Romandie in a week and a half.

Pauwels staked his claim to Grand Tour possibilities in last year's Giro d'Italia and then made the move to Sky from the Cervelo TestTeam at the end of the 2009 season.

Pauwels admits that he might have pressed a bit too hard in the hopes of taking advantage of his opportunity: "Maybe I wanted so badly to do my best that I forced it too much."

Pauwels is happy within his new team and their understanding of the time necessary for his 100% return. According to Pauwels, his non-start in the Ardennes this week is "entirely in accordance with the philosophy of the team that I first gets a solid foundation."

"During my period of inactivity, I've gotten support from the team management as well as a psychiatrist. A rider who is not racing, is usually a little bit out of sorts, but here at Team Sky, things are different."

Pauwels still has plenty of time to regain top form for his big goal for 2010: a start in his second Grand Tour, the Tour de France.


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