Julian Dean Diary
2009 Giro d'Italia: Stage 4: After three proper stages of the Giro, I’m now starting to wonder if it was a good thing to come here under-prepared.
After three proper stages of the Giro, I’m now starting to wonder if it was a good thing to come here under-prepared. The reality of being back on the bike only long enough to prepare solely for the team time trial has started to hit home as I struggle through these early stages of the race.
From Venice we headed up to Trieste for the first stage and for the second stage, we looped back around toward Venice but a little further inland. It was a hectic couple of stages - both with mad finishing circuits. Although, this is actually pretty normal in the Giro.
We had a chance to take the jersey both days so the pressure was on to try and help out Tyler to take the jersey. I was a little shocked by the intensity and difficulty coming into the final and was not able to hold my own either day and so did little to help the team out. One of the amazing things that I find after coming back from injury is how the intensity of a final can really mess with your nerves. When you are fit and strong, the psyche is fairly un-phased by a technically hard finishing circuit. Whenever I first come back from injury, I always wonder how I will ever be able to get back to that high level of fitness – and not just the physical fitness, but also the mental fitness that allows me to cope with the intensity of these races: from the noise of the helicopters overhead; to the motorbikes and cars weaving through and whizzing by; to the cheering hoards of people; to the narrow roads, dangerous corners and city streets full of road furniture. It seems impossible that anyone can train themselves to cope with it all. I guess that these moments in my career just give me a reality check on the difficulties of our sport and all that we have to cope with.
After not really being able to contribute much for the first couple of stages, today we headed away from the coast for the first medium mountain stage. The reality of not being fully prepared for the Giro continued to bite. It wasn't the hardest of stages at only 160km, but I really didn't feel too comfortable for the majority of the day. By the end, I had a pretty sore set of legs which I rarely get when racing. Much like the first time you go to the gym after a spell of not going. I haven't been doing a lot of that sort of riding so my legs are suddenly taking a thumping and letting me know about it.
Anyway, the day has finished well. It was a 500m ride to the hotel (very unusual for the Giro which is notorious for its long pre- and post-race transfers) and I have nice little balcony that I sat out on this evening looking up to the snow-covered peaks above as I pondered over something to write for you guys.
Roll on tomorrow.
The whole team here at Roadcycling.com wishes you great success in the 2009 Giro Julz! Burn rubber!