Julian Dean Diary
Tour of Flanders, 4th April
Same Old, Same Old
Just for a change, I never finished Tour of Flanders today. I?m feeling really bummed about it. I really wanted to make it to the finish of this race for once in my career. I?m not sure why I didn?t finish but the bottom line is that I just never had it. I tried but when we got to the Oude Kwaremont, I went backwards. I started in a good position and reckon I lost more time than anyone on that climb. I wasn't breathing hard or anything but I just couldn't get any drive out of the legs.
Not finishing races and not having good form is not only a problem for me these days but I have the feeling that it?s also fast becoming a problem for the team. I?m sure they?re starting to ask themselves about the merits of hiring me. They haven?t said anything to me directly, but you know in a professional environment when more than what you are delivering, is expected. I don't blame the team. I would be expecting more from me also. In fact, I do expect more from myself. What makes it all the more frustrating is that the team never knows whether you?ve been doing the training. As an athlete, you have complete responsibility of getting yourself to your peak form through sheer hard work and your results are what people use to measure whether you have been doing that hard work or not. Unfortunately, in trying to attain a top performance, at times there are other factors - totally out of your control and which only those closest to you are aware of - that can also affect your form. Or worse still, you don't even know what you?re doing wrong no matter how hard you search for answers. And in this business, it?s the athlete that has to explain or defend themselves, regardless of whether or not they are themselves the sole source of their bad performances.
As difficult as it has been to try and get my head around it all, I have faith in myself that I have done everything possible to be in my best form for these races, in the time-frame I had to work with. Unfortunately, I can't prove that to anyone and today my bad performance chipped yet another piece off my faith block the team management has in me and it?s rapidly getting smaller. But what more can I do? I just have to keep working hard and hold on to the confidence in knowing that it?ll all come together at some point. I?ve been around in this scene long enough to know how the system works. Things are like this now but they won't be forever. It?ll all turn around. The hardest part is that it just puts more pressure on me later. Maybe this is what I need?
So what now? Well the idea is to just get stuck in. A mark of a great athlete is one who can turn it around when things seem hopeless. The best I can do is to try and turn it around on Wednesday at Gent-Wevelgem. It?s a good race for me and I have done well there before so I intend to give it a nudge. You never know!!!
Anyway, on a final and more positive note, I want to congratulate my Mum-in-law on her awesome achievement on the weekend. After half a century of living, she decided to take up exercise July last year and in between regular smoke breaks, she started to clock up a few kms on the bike. One thing lead to another and on Saturday, she nailed her first 100km funride from Rotorua to Taupo, New Zealand. Carole was riding alongside as her on-road support and from what she told me, Deb nailed it with style. And her first reward to herself as she crossed the line???? A fag, of course!
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