Serge Pauwels wonders if he has reached a dead end with Team Sky
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Serge Pauwels wonders if he has reached a dead end with Team Sky

by Jered Gruber at 9:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Talented young Belgian dropped from Sky's Giro roster

27 year old Serge Pauwels went to Team Sky at the end of the 2009 season with a lot of expectations. In his one season with the Cervelo Test Team, the young Belgian had shown himself as one of the country's next big hopes in the Grand Tours following a number of excellent stage finishes, a near stage win, and a noteworthy 32nd overall placing whilst riding in support of team captain, Carlos Sastre.

In 2010, Pauwels rode his first ever Tour de France, but his season never quite got off the ground, or at least to an extend to where the expectations loaded on his shoulders following his sensational 2009 were in any way fulfilled.

There was hope that 2011 would be the year that things got back on track, but as of May, the rider from Lier has nary a result to show for his efforts and just suffered his latest setback - a non-selection for the upcoming Giro d'Italia.

Pauwels was suitably unhappy when he spoke to Sporza following the announcement that his spot at the Giro would be taken by young Brit, Peter Kennaugh.

"I knew when I started the season that I should prepare myself for the Giro, and I did. I copied my preparation from 2009 when I did a good Giro, and I reached my ideal weight as well. Unfortunately, I have now been told that I should hand over the reins [to Peter Kennaugh]."

With a Giro start nixed, there remain two possible Grand Tours for the rider that counts himself as a future general classification threat - the Tour de France or the Vuelta a España. Considering what has happened so far this season for Pauwels, it seems a stretch that he'll get a start in the Tour de France, but the Vuelta seems a possibility.

What of the Vuelta though? The Vuelta has become the stomping grounds of anyone with a dream of World Championships glory, and Sky certainly has a number of potential mouths to feed in that department.

If Pauwels misses both the Tour and the Vuelta, it would be a major disaster for his career - he's in the final season of a two year deal, and with the chance of no results in the sport's biggest races a real possibility, Pauwels is getting nervous.

"Or, am I at a dead end with Sky? I am not happy, and my contract is about to expire. I won't burn any bridges though. I hope to get something out of the season."



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