Julian Dean Diary

News & Results

09/23/2003| 0 comments
by Julian Dean
Julian Dean - Team CSC sprinter.
Julian Dean - Team CSC sprinter.

Julian Dean Diary

Vuelta exit...

to go to the toilet.   I had a severe case of diarrhoea and it was a sleepless and exhausting night.   The next morning I felt weak but the thought of pulling the pin then never even entered my mind.   I figured it was just a 24 hour tummy bug and I just had to ride it out.   Unfortunately things only got worse and the 24 hr bug turned into a 48 hr bug, a 72 hr bug and finally into a week long debilitating suffering-fest.   But it was during stage 7 of the Vuelta - the longest and hardest stage of the tour - that I had the worst day of all....

 

...I had pain everywhere and I suffered unbelievably at times just to stay with the four other riders who'd also been dropped.   I tried to eat but my stomach had shut up shop and everything I swallowed soon came back up again.   Even water.   Things were going from bad to worse and riding the longest and hardest stage of the Vuelta on an absolutely empty gas tank felt almost suicidal.   My entire body thumped with pain and I was cold and miserable.   The only place I could think about were the hot mineral water Polynesian Pools in Rotorua.   If they had been right there, I would've just hopped off my bike and slid into that soothing water - clothes, bike shoes, helmet and all.   No doubt about it.   I thought I'd hurt myself on the piss sometimes but nothing compares to how hard I punished myself that day.   When we came to the bottom of the last climb, one of the other 4 riders told me we could take it easy.   We only had 12kms to the finish and although all uphill, we had plenty of time to make the time cut.   I couldn't say anything to him in return.   I had been sitting on these guys all day, saying nothing and thinking little.   I was numb. As we climbed up the last climb, I started to see stars and black spots.   I couldn't push.   The other 4 disappeared but I had my head down and didn't pay much attention to anything that was going on around me.   All I knew was that I was going as hard as I could.   I began to recognise the climb.   I don't know from when but it's often like that when you race - you have a vague memory of the town or terrain but aren't able to pinpoint it exactly.   Especially at this point, as I already felt like I was in some other existence.  

 

I carried on riding but I was getting weaker and weaker.   For the first time in hours, I lifted my head up to look at all of the cheering spectators coming down the mountain from their day.   There were plenty shouts of encouragement but I wanted more.  

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