Tour of Flanders 2011 winner Nick Nuyens announced his retirement from professional cycling on Tuesday, having failed to find a team for the 2015 season.
The 34-year-old Belgian rode for the past two season for Garmin-Sharp, but did not have a place in the team when it merged with Cannondale for 2015. Despite negotiations with other squads, a contract was not forthcoming.
“I did not want to say goodbye this way,” Nuyens said in Tuesday’s press conference, according to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.
“On the one hand, I can count on a lot of experience, but then I also realise that I have had no results in the past two years.”
Nuyens’s last victory was also his biggest – the 2011 Tour of Flanders which he took for the Saxo Bank squad. The same year he also won Dwars door Vlaanderen ahead of Briton Geraint Thomas. British race fans will also recall his victory in the 2005 Tour of Britain when he was with QuickStep and took two stage wins.
A crash during the 2012 Paris-Nice opening time trial saw him unable to defend his Flanders title, and by his own admission he struggled to regain his previous form after the incident.
“I never fully recovered from my hip fracture,” said Nuyens. “It has taken time to get over it, but fortunately I can look back on a brilliant career. It was much better than I had ever dared to hope.”
Nuyens said he will continue cycling for fun, but was not sure what the future would hold. In the meantime, after over 11 years as a professional cyclist travelling the world, he is happy to be able to spend more time with his family.