Julian Dean Diary
Vuelta stage 7 - Lights are out!
Stage 7 - Lights Are Out.... <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Well, Julian had another terrible night last night with his stomach bug and unfortunately the bug won the battle today. Julz didn't make the time cut in today's first stage in the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
I've just got off the phone from Julz. He's feeling like shit - both physically and mentally and to be honest, I'm not much of a box of fluffies myself. It's heartbreaking to watch someone you love so much, suffer so horrendously but refuse to give up the fight and yet no matter how hard they try, how deep they dig and how much suffering they endure, nothing can save the day....Julian said it was the hardest day of his life today. He hated every moment of it and even though he knew he probably wouldn't make the time cut, he refused to give up....He just kept on riding up those mountain climbs, feeling so much pain and with no-one but the broom wagon as support.
By the time he neared the finish line, he couldn't see properly and he was so dehydrated, he couldn't think clearly. He was on automatic pilot. The legs were just turning themselves. He collapsed after the line, and a lot of you may ask, "Well, why didn't he just stop the race if he was so sick?".
That's the kind of question you never ask a professional athlete. When they work so hard; sacrifice so much; focus so intensely; and want success so badly, there is very little that will get in their way...unless it's completely out of their control like illness or an accident. Professional sport is more than just a job to these athletes; it's their passion, their life and in cycling especially, it's their 24/7. And when there's that much commitment, tenacity, desire and focus, the idea of quitting may, from time to time, spring into their minds, but it very seldom becomes an option - especially when their minds and bodies are put to the real test like Julian's were today.
What pushed Julian today came down to one thing only. Making the time cut. He