Julian Dean Diary

News & Results

08/28/2005| 0 comments
by Julian Dean

Julian Dean Diary


Well, here I am again lining up for another big one. La Vuelta A Espanya. I arrived here in Granada last night at 7.30pm and as soon as I stepped off the plane, I struck a wall of heat. It was oppressive and that was only the evening heat. Already before the race has even started, it gave me a tired feeling. Then I remembered that this is the weather for me. It?s in these conditions that I go best?

I have worked hard the last couple of weeks since Benelux. I?ve probably done harder and longer hours than I?ve done on the bike for a long time - if not ever. But I feel good for it and think that it was just what I needed - especially taking in the bigger picture which includes the World Championships - my main focus for the rest of this season. This is really the only race that I?m thinking about at the moment. It?d be nice to do well here but my form just isn?t quite where it needs to be yet so the Vuelta is not my big objective.


After starting here in Granada we head north through the centre of Spain then out to the coast between Valencia and Barca, north again before hitting the Pyrenees - then we dip down to the planes of Spain before going back up to Asturias and then finally down to Madrid for the finish on the circuit of the World Championships.

Put like that, it sounds easy. Well it?s not. It his going to be very difficult. There are a lot of very, very hard stages with a lot of climbs - especially after the first time trial just North of Barca in Lloret de Mar. A typical ?Vuelta?, I guess.

Being here at the start of a big tour is always a strange feeling. We?re always here 3 days before the race starts for the medical tests and team presentations, etc., so each day out riding around town you see all the other teams training. It?s always funny to see the different mentality and looks the other teams give off which is always the same no matter where in Europe we are. Firstly, all the teams seem to go out training on the same road. For sure there are other roads but for some reason all the teams seem to end up doing the same circuit. Even if it?s a small, obscure road out in the wops somehow all the teams end up out there.


Then there?s the distinctive mentality of each team. When you pass the teams out on the road the team?s nationality is obvious by what they are doing and how they convey themselves. When you pass an Italian team, they will be without helmets. If it?s hot like here in
Granada, they?ll have their shorts pulled right up, the sleeves of their jerseys pulled up, or preferably sleeveless, and sometimes even jersey-less. It?s all about working on the tan. Unlike Italian teams, French teams will be all over the show. A couple of riders off the front, a couple dropped, half with helmets and all of them looking like they have been going a little harder than normal. A Spanish team is always cruising by. With a lot of chatting and laughing but always in a tight group and mostly wearing arm and leg warmers even if the heat is punching in at the 30?s. The Dutch and Germans always look very serious, in good formation and with very little expression, riding at a solid tempo - helmets and all.

No matter where the race it?s always the same. To me it?s pretty typical of the general characters of the different countries. It?s an interesting little anthropology study.

Anyway, tomorrow the race starts so I better finish talking about my extra curricular social studies and get my mind on the job for what are going to be three hard but, I reckon, fun weeks. It?s nice to be doing the Vuelta - even more so than in the past as
Spain really does feel like home having been here 6 years now. I feel comfortable and at ease racing here?.and that feels good.

Hasta luego,


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