Julian Dean Diary
Tour de France 2006 - Stage 7
Last night I had a little bit spare time to go online and read the notepad on the my website. I have to say that I was pretty humbled by all the messages from everyone. It?s great to have the support from you all - especially yesterday. I was feeling pretty down after the stage as I?ve really found it hard bouncing back both mentally and physically after the crashes. But it was really uplifting to go and read the messages from you all. So thanks a lot for that.
Anyway, today was the time trial; the first real test for those who hope to be overall contenders. Obviously, that?s not me. With the wounds that I have and the state of my body at the mo, I just wanted to try and get through the day nice and easy and hopefully I?ll start to feel better next week after the rest day. Feeling the way I am at the moment, it?s pretty difficult just to be in the race.
Every sport has its low key legends and for me, Ekimov is one of those in cycling. He?s always just a quiet dude, achieving well as he bops along. He?s an extraordinary guy and an extraordinary rider. He has been in the game such a long time and experienced so much. Yesterday at the start, when I pulled up to the grid, I was next to him and we were chatting away. We got on to his flash new cycle computer that he?s got. It looked pretty tricky with some sort of backlit face. We were both admiring it and how cool it looked. But then he proceeded to tell me that it was nothing special - just looked the part. For him, he said, the best was the ?Avocet? computer. Many of you will remember them; one of the first computers out and in nice 80's fluoro colours, pink and yellow. The best, he reckons, nothing too complicated - just 2 buttons and it always worked. For me, that?s typical Eki and in a lot of ways the Avocet computer is synonymous of Eki himself: Nothing too complicated and always works.
Then he went on to tell me that he still has a box full of them and the saddles in his garage from when he was sponsored by them. I would hate to think what other things he?s got in there. My garage is bad enough, let alone a dude?s who has done 15 TDFs and has been pro for almost 20yrs.
Anyway that?s a nice little story from the Tour de France. I always like those moments in cycling when there?s an opportunity to catch up with the guys during the race, especially those I?ve been team-mates with and have enjoyed hanging out with in the past.
Tomorrow is the last stage before the rest day and probably one of the last sprints for a while as well. Hopefully I can pass through it A.O.K. I?m going to need the rest day to try and get over my crash and then I hope that I?ll be feeling a little better.
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