Julian Dean Diary
2009 Giro d'Italia: And so on and on it went...
Although, to be honest, I was a bit disappointed that I didn't make the final group to go for the win.
The last couple of days were uphill finishes and as the GC got tighter at the top, the intensity of the race increased with the time bonus seconds available at intermediate sprints and at the finish, looking like they could possibly make the difference to the overall in the race. Pretty strange after 3 weeks and over 3500 km of racing.
The finale of the race was different to other years, with the finish being in Rome - as opposed to the traditional Milan finish - and it was a short but very technical 14km TT. I didn't get to see it on TV as I never do when I'm doing these races, but after doing a warm up lap of the course, which started and finished outside the Colliseum and looped through Rome past many of it's most famous sights, including the Vatican, I imagine that it would've looked great on TV. Despite the fact that it was a shit circuit with dangerous turns and a crap road surface making it horrible to ride on. Unfortunately it's not always about what is good for the riders.
The historical significance of finishing the Giro in Rome and in such a way as we did, did have its appeal to me though and it was nice to put it up there with some of the other great places I have raced around, through and over. Such as Tiananmen Square and the Great wall of China, the Acropolis in Athens, Central Park in Sydney, underneath the Petronas Towers in KL, around and through central London, and up and down the Champs Elysees in Paris.
And thus the Giro ended with what became it's trademark of this edition over the last 3 wks - with intensity and 'down-to-the-wire' excitement. Although Menchov crashed within the last km, his mechanic flicked him a legendary bike change and off he rode, pumped up on adrenalin, to his first Giro d'Italia victory. Hats off to a valiant ride.
As far as my form goes, I have finished much better than I started here. The final few stages I would even go as far to say that I was feeling good - which I don't say too often about myself.
From here I go home for 10 days and then off to a 3 day race in Holland. From there, all going well, the Tour will be my gig in July. Between now and then the first task becomes recovering well, then I need to try and lose a couple kgs and sharpen myself up. I hope to go do a couple weeks at altitude if time allows, and I will try and look for my own chances in this year's Tour in some of the more selective sprints. For the flat out sprints, I'll be there to help out our rising amercian star to a stage win - which I'm also looking forward to guiding him to, as