In memoriam Jure (1965-2010)

FRIENDS ARE LIKE THE STARS, YOU MIGHT NOT ALWAYS SEE THEM, BUT YOU KNOW THEY ARE THERE, SOMEWHERE, FAR AWAY...

Friday September 24th, 2010 was some shity Friday. The day had two good moments, first a morning coffee with my friend Fredi and later a phone call from Jure Robic. He was calling to tell me that he is planning on coming to my 24h World Record attempt to be held on October 8th-9th with his son and girlfriend and they will be cheering LOUD.  He was doing a great job motivating me, believing in my project even more than I do. We also talked about his preparation for an Australian MTB race »Crocodile Trophy« and some plans for 2011. The day almost passed and after a long day at work and kids giving me a hard time on a way from school/kindergarten and then Irma giving me a hard time because we were late, I knew the only thing to help my building headache – a training ride. There were only 2 hours left before sundown, so I filled my mouth with pizza and begun changing to cycling clothing, when a phone rang. A journalist Andrej called with a news or better said with a question if it is true that Jure died. To make a long story short, after my disbelief and a pretty strange conversation that even Irma picked up, I sat down at my computer trying to hold my tears back. Irma nervously kept asking me what is wrong and I just whispered something about not knowing and tried to find the news on internet. And there it was on one of news portals. A short article about Jure's death put me in the state of shock. I burst into tears and only but managed to tell Irma what has happened. I probably don't have to tell you that my training was over before it begun and not only the Friday's training. The whole weekend I kept wandering around a house like a mere shadow of myself and kept asking myself about the meaning of everything.

I was left without one of my best friends and the Slovenian and World cycling without one of the most prominent ambasadors of our sport, for me & Jure by far the most beautiful sport in the World. Ultra-cycling and RAAM joined our paths after we were apart for some years after Jure leaving the road-cycling scene. RAAM did put us on two opposite sides during the races, but on the other hand it connected us with a stronger bond than anything else could ever do. Our duels at ultra-cycling races became legendary. It is true that after year 2003 in which Jure became professional the duels were a bit one-sided, but nevertheless always interesting. Jure was the one pushing the boundaries and we, the other ultra-cyclists, were trying to keep up with him. To prove that with a proper training it was possible to beat a professional rider on a mega-mileage training regime even when working full-time, became sort of an obsession for me. The moments like a few 24h races that we won together with hand in hand or passing him at RAAM or LeTour Direct (even if only for a short time), were something I lived for and it gave me the energy to keep pushing forward. And I kept believing that anything is possible. Even to beat the unbeatable one.

Every inch of the road in Slovenia (and abroad) that we rode on together keeps reminding me of him, bringing tears to my eyes and pain in my heart. I hope the time will come when I can remember our adventures together with a smile on my face. But for now the only thing I know is that Jure is gone forever, he will never again lead a race to set up (mostly unreachable) goals for us, his handshake and a hug won't wait for me at the finish line anymore, there will be no more training rides together, no motivating each other »Let's show those young boys how it is done!«, no setting of new goals. All of that has died together with him and the loss is simply invaluable.

It is hard to find the motivation to move forward at the times like this. But with Jure believing in my 24h record project even more than I do, I think I have to pull myself together and do this one for him. I do believe and I try to comfort myself with the thought that there is a new Guardian angel up there and he will be watching over me from now on.

Jure rest in piece and keep having fun on the smooth roads in Heaven…

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