Julian Dean Diary
2009 Giro d'Italia: Scraped In By The Hair Of My Chin
The Queen Stage nearly killed me.
I was caught by surprise at how bad I was on the queen stage of this year's giro. I really thought that I would get through ok but I ended up having one of the worst days in a long time. Everything hurt; my neck, my back, my legs, my skin - everything. For the entire day I was in the grupetto and even then I was flatstick just to stay in there over the last three climbs. A lot of the time I thought only about getting off the bike and quitting the race. These 'off days' get you when you least expect them and today I never expected it and it got me good.
I had felt that the progress I had been making up 'til this point was good and that I would pass through no problem. It certainly was a bump in the road but I'm happy that I got through it.
I often wonder what brings on these days and when I think back to other times I have had days like today, I can never find a common element. Seems that it just happens to me sometimes. All I can say is that I'm dam I'm lucky I'm not a GC rider.
When I returned to the hotel, I went straight to my bed and got up only to have massage and to eat. It's been a long time since I've felt that exhausted after a stage.
Stage 11 has been another incredibly fast stage. The speed during the early part of the stages has been super fast as all of the riders are afraid of missing the break as their directors will make them chase. Today was no different. It was all on for the whole day and eventually everyone was trying so hard to get in the move that they all cancelled each other out and there was no break. It ended up a day for the sprinters again. It gave us another chance to refine our combination and have another crack. We did good and it was better than any of our previous attempts. Still we didn't get it exactly right and Tyler finished second. We've almost got it dialled and I'm sure that when we do, Tyler will beat Cavendish.
Story of the day goes to Lance, who at one point was having it out with Cunego as they were fighting for position mid-way through the race. Cunego goes by the nickname in Italy, 'The Prince'. All the Italians seem to have dorkie nicknames, such as the 'Dolphin' or 'Cricket'. Anyway, after squabbling back and forth to each other, in all his anger and frustration, Lance turned to Cunego and said, "I'll crush you, little Prince!". I had to laugh my arse off as it just sounded like something that had come straight out of a fairytale book.
The whole team here at Roadcycling.com wishes you great success in the 2009 Giro Julz! Burn rubber!