Julian Dean Diary
2008 Tour de France - Stage 15: A Couple Of Days In Italy
In today's stage, I saw the two most spectacular things of this year's Tour de France. One good one and one bad one.
The first was at the the start of the stage when we were heading up the valley to the 2744m Col de Angel. As we were approaching a bridge, I was looking up the road and saw two dudes come flying out of the trees above the bridge, on mountain bikes. And when I mean above, I don't mean 1 or 2 metres. I reckon that it would've been a good three stories (if my Mum-in-law was telling this story, she'd double that!). At first I thought they were going to land on the bridge but they continued their free fall, disappearing behind it. As we rode over the bridge, I looked down and could see them on their MTBs sailing through the air. Impressive hang time and one of the coolest stunts I've ever seen. Definitely puts my lake jumping antics on a BMX I did in Naseby one time, to shame. While our Naseby lake jumping never made it on youtube, (although to be fair to myself and the boys, youtube wasn't around then), I'm sure that today's stunt will be somewhere in cyberspace to view.
The second spectaclar thing of the day was not a pleasant one. Coming down the descent, as I approached a switch back, I saw the 'Vall Verde' and his team-mates stopped on the side of the road, looking over the side. As I came out of the corner, I saw one of his team-mates lying on the road in amongst broken branches and debri. At first I couldn't figure out what had happened then after a second, the light flicked on and I realised what had happened. It made me nearly dry reach at the thought. He had gone off the road and over the barriers just before the switch back and fallen down onto the road below. I had been thinking a few kms before how mad we were as we were coming off the Col de Angel at 80k/hr on tyres that are as wide as your thumb, in the wet, trying to catch the front group again. I was thinking that we should be paid a shitload of danger money - especially given that we wear no protective equipment apart from the helmet, which I've been known to smash to smitherings in several unsavory past crashes, and until 3 years ago, we didn't even have to wear them if we didn't want to. We are some mad units when I think about it.... Best not to think about it....
Anyway, that rider turned out to be Oscar Pereiro and fortunately he was ok. Well, that's if you call a broken shoulder and femur ok. Unlucky to crash but lucky not to have come out of it well worse off than he did, I reckon.
Team Garmin-Chipotle presented by H3O
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