Julian Dean Diary
2008 Tour de France - Stage 5: Bugger.
Today was a little more like we expect to get in the Tour de France. Heading away from Brittany toward Tours, the weather was more like I hoped for with a little less wind and way more sunshine.
After the miscalculation of stage 2, it was unlikely that a group would stay away today... although it almost did.
A break went early in the day and no real fight was put up to stop it from taking time out of us. Once the break was established it was left up to the Gerolsteiner team to control the race as they held the yellow jersey. The race rolled along pretty nicely and with 15km to go the break was at 1 min so it all seemed under control. Up until this point nothing had seemed too stressed or too hard. Things were just getting faster and faster. It seemed like we would catch the break with no problem at all as the time gap was steadily coming down.
Things had gone well for me leading into the sprint. Miller did a good job of dropping me, Magnus & Martain off in the last corner with 1600m to go. From there I followed the other boys under the 1km kite, then it was on to the wheel of Magnus to the final meters. Unfortunately from there on in things didn't really work out as I had hoped.
We got caught too far behind and when I went to start sprinting, I had to come from too far back. We were too boxed in on both sides and it seemed Magnus was getting bounced around like a pinball trying to get us up into a better position. In a sprint like today where it's so fast, you have to start from the front of the arrow head. Position is everything and we didn't have it. I think it's pretty fair to say that our leadout just wasn't up to scratch today. Hopefully we can get it better next time.
....And the break was only just reeled in within the last few hundred metres....
The positive thing was that I felt good and although I started from too far back, once I broke free I was able to make up a few places. I finished 10th. Next time the priority will be to ride better position in the last 1km.
Team Garmin-Chipotle presented by H3O
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