Defending champ Nuyens ruled out of Flanders

Saxo Bank rider ruled out of Flanders with hip fracture

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AFP) — The Belgian Nick Nuyens, victim of a small fracture of the right hip last week at Paris-Nice, has announced that he will not be ready in time for a title defense at the Tour of Flanders on April 1.

“Each movement still hurts,” Nuyens told Belgian VRT television. “So, I am being forced to withdraw from the Tour of Flanders. I could have taken the start, just to ride, but that is not the goal. I should be 100 percent and that is not the case.”

Nuyens crashed heavily in the opening time trial of Paris-Nice last Sunday and was forced to abandon. The diagnosis of the hip fracture came two days later, after an initial examination failed to find the injury. Nuyens said Tuesday that he would take two weeks off of training and hoped to be ready for his title defense, but confirmed on Sunday that this would not be possible.