Julian Dean Diary
2008 Tour de France - Stage 3: Strange Days
This seems to have been one of the strangest Tours ever. Unlike other years, it hasn't really had its regular pattern and stage 3 was a prime example of this.
Normally on these early stages, there is a break that goes early that is later reeled in by the sprinters' teams for a sprint finish. For today's stage I thought that it would especially be like this as we have had no real chances yet for the sprinters. And if any one likes part of the action it's the sprinters.
Today however, with little co-operation between the teams, the break that should've been easy to bring back was left to take the stage and the yellow jersey. Something quite out of the ordinary for the any bike race, especially the Tour de France.
Hats off though to the four riders who went out there, who I'm sure were just as surprised as anyone that they stayed away to the finish. Fortunately for us we had a rider in the break. Initially we wanted someone in there just for the publicity and tv time so to finish second in the stage was quite something.
I guess that the unpredictable pattern in the Tour so far is most likely to do with the fact that there has been no prologue time trial and that this year there are no time bonuses on the road or at the finish. It has certainly changed the nature of the race more than I expected.
In any case, we had a little sprint for 5th where I mixed it up. Things went well and I was able to be in the mix till I took an unexpected barge in the shoulder with 100m to go, nearly crashing again which frightened the hell out of me and threw me off my game. Tough business even when you're going for a crummy 5th place. I hate to think what the first real sprint is going to be like given that there hasn't been one yet and all the sprinters are chomping at the bit for a crack at a stage win.
Tomorrow we have a time trial a little chance to relax for me.
Team Garmin-Chipotle presented by H3O
Click here to check out Julian Dean’s Web site.
Click here to send Julian your comments. He needs them and deserves them and they'll help him reach Paris again this year!