'I’D RATHER FINISH SHATTERED AND LAST HAVING ATTACKED A HUNDRED TIMES THAN FINISH 25TH WITHOUT HAVING TRIED.'
'I’M NOT A REVOLUTIONARY OF ANY SORT, BUT ON THE BIKE, I’VE ALWAYS REFUSED TO COME OUT OF A MOULD. IT ASTONISHES ME THAT MOST RIDERS ARE FOLLOWERS, EVEN SHEEP. A LOT OF THEM, THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEY’RE IN THE TOUR ARE THEIR DIRECTEURS SPORTIFS. I COULDN’T DO THE JOB LIKE THAT. THEY FINISH THE TOUR WITHOUT HAVING ATTACKED ONCE, MAYBE THE WHOLE OF THE SEASON, EVEN THE WHOLE OF THEIR CAREER. I’D RATHER FINISH SHATTERED AND LAST HAVING ATTACKED A HUNDRED TIMES THAN FINISH 25TH WITHOUT HAVING TRIED.'
It is being kind of strange, everyone getting back together, cowering in fear, huddling in the back of the bus in terror of one of the Jan’s legendary rages, but something’s missing. The Vino isn’t here.
The Jan had high hopes for little Vino. It is being true. He was being like a little mini-Jan. Everyone knows the unholy might that is the Jan, they know that the Jan strides this trembling earth like some dark colussus, dealing death and pain with every turn of his massive gear. But the Vino is being pretty evil too. He not only is looking like a punk kid who would toilet-paper your grandmother’s house and then push her down and steal her purse when she came outside, but he is actually being kind of an asshole, too. When the Jan dropped a bar of soap inside a sock and then used it to beat the holy living hell out of Klodi, it was always Vino who would be holding him down. Vino is not on the level of the Jan, of course, but still, he is about 10 pounds of evil in a 5 pound bag, and the Jan will be missing him.
The Mighty Uniballed One, the Lance, is now telling people that he thinks Jan is going to be winning the Tour this year. To which the Jan is being saying, Ja, no shit, dumbass.
Ivan Basso, Valverde, Floyd Landis, it doesn’t matter. No one can drop the hammers on the climbs AND the time trials like the Jan. It is being like the Highlander. Or like Lance’s nuts.
…TO BE QUICKER THAN THE REST, AND PARTICULARLY THAN THE OTHER STARS, INVOLVES A LOT OF PAIN.
"BEING A MOUNTAIN SPECIALIST IS VERY HARD. NOT THAT I’D RATHER BE ANYTHING ELSE BECAUSE I DON’T THINK YOU CAN BECOME… A BETTER HUMAN BEING WITHOUT EFFORT. YOU CAN BEAT THE PROBLEMS OF LIFE MUCH MORE EASILY IF YOU’VE MET HARDSHIP.
IT SOMETIMES LOOKS AS IF THE FIRST RIDER TO THE TOP HAS DONE IT FAIRLY EASILY; YOU TEND TO FEEL MORE SORRY FOR THE MEN WHO’VE KNOCKED THEMSELVES OUT TO MAKE THE CLIMB AT ALL; BUT BELIEVE ME TO BE QUICKER THAN THE REST, AND PARTICULARLY THAN THE OTHER STARS, INVOLVES A LOT OF PAIN.”