Julian Dean Diary
2010 Giro d'Italia - Part 2 - How About A Banquet To Go With That Transfer?
2010 Giro d'Italia - Part 2 (continued from Part 1 ) - How About A Banquet To Go With That Transfer?
...On arriving in Italy, in true Giro-style the organizers thought it a good idea to put on a banquet dinner at the airport for us (or them???) and charge punters to come and share dinner with 200 grumpy, ravenous cyclists who'd already had the World's longest day and just wanted to get to the hotel and go to bed. After all, it was nearing midnight by now and our day had been a hard one - both on the bike and with the transfer and yet we now had to sit down and eat en masse with excited punters whose last thought in mind was that of going to bed! It was just ridiculous and I just had to laugh at the whole thing. I thought that I'd seen it all in my years of professional racing but this was a new one. We really are just a travelling circus.
It made me wonder what they will be expecting of the athletes in the years to come as days like this are now becoming the norm in pro sport rather than the exception as organizers and sponsors try to capitalize on their investments as much as they can. It's these moments in cycling that make me wonder whether race organisers forget, or actually even care, that we're athletes who need plenty of rest and recovery to make it the spectacle that a Grand Tour is.
Anyway, after the chaotic transfer from Holland to Italy, followed by the ‘hooplah' banquet, we arrived at the hotel after 1 am. Finally we could crawl our exhausted selves into bed. It felt great.
The next day was a rest day, although that was never really going to be a rest day as such with the next stage being the TTT, requiring re-con of the course and a practise session to give us some cohesion in the order of our line-up.
Our aim of taking the jersey for Millar was made all the more difficult to achieve after having lost Christian with a broken collar bone the day before and an inexperienced team. But in our hearts we were committed to give it our all. I was particularly afraid. I'm normally pretty good in a TTT but still not feeling into the groove of racing yet and then coming off a rest day, I wasn't sure how I was going to fair. I always struggle after a rest day and especially when I'm not completely on top of my form. For whatever reason, although my body loves the rest day, it hates the day after.
As it turned out my ‘post-rest day fear' was warranted. Conditions were not really good for me with it being a little fresh and raining. So from the start I was struggling and felt heavy and dull. I was hoping that I might get a turnaround in my sensations but instead I just progressively felt worse and worse. Eventually I felt