Julian Dean Diary
2006 Tour de France - Stages Two and Three
Yesterday after stage 2, I was absolutely fisted. I was so bad during the stage and in the evening I couldn't do anything but lie in my bed. It was a horrible feeling. I spent the whole evening wondering how I was going to make it past the first week of the tdf. Especially given that on paper, stage 3 was harder than stage 2.
Stage 2, from
Even more amazing about yesterday?s stage was that Thor had to cross the line pedalling with one leg. He fell victim to one of McEwen?s accidental, "Opps. Go-off-my-sprint-line-for-no-apparent-reason-in-the-last-50m" tricks. Thor later declared that he really felt like he was going to win if he hadn?t pulled his foot after Robbie veered across his sprint line. It?s pretty disappointing from Robbie. To me, there didn?t look to be any reason why he needed to, or should have, moved across like that. Even more disappointing is that the commissaires didn?t act on it.
Oh well, we still took the jersey after hammering all the intermediate sprints and with Thor picking up some bonus seconds in the end as well. None of this though was making me feel any better about my crap form.
Stage 3 from
Unfortunately though, stage 3 wasn?t good for the team. After working really well all day, we lost the jersey in what was a hard final with a 1-km climb just before the finish. That?s cycling though and you have to take the good with the bad. My job today was to bring Thor to the front at the bottom of the climb and lead him up the climb for as long as my legs would handle. After yesterday?s crap performance, I didn't like my chances of making it over the climb to help him in the sprint finish. And actually, position going into the climb would be more important anyhow as it would be a little chaotic at the top with each to their own.
As it turned out, I ended up looking like a bit of an idiot up the climb. I went to the front with Thor on my wheel. I went through the last couple of corners then hit the climb full gas. After a while I pulled off and looked back. To my surprise, the peloton was 100m behind. Thor had cramped and let the wheel go and I had nobbed off the front and had no idea?
The whole thing looked stupid as I was too buggered to keep going and didn't have enough of a gap back to the peloton to recover and get back in before the descent. So for those of you who were wondering what I was doing: No I wasn't attacking I was just trying to bring Thor into a good position. So yeh, the only thing I took up that climb on my wheel was thin air. Never mind though, got a few seconds of TV time!!!
In hindsight, I probably should?ve saved myself for the finish. I would?ve made it up the climb no problem today but on yesterday?s form that wouldn?t have been the case and I didn't really want to change the team plan mid-flight.
So I don't know what tomorrow will bring. I?m very up and down at the moment and although I was better today I?m still not confident about my form. Knowing my luck, I could just as easily feel like I did yesterday again. So we?ll just see what the day brings. As usual for me, it?s just the old one-day-at-a-time philosophy at the moment. I won?t forget how much I suffered yesterday just to make the finish so for the next few days I will be riding wary.
PS. Hats off to my old man. Pete pulled himself through a knee replacement op yesterday and is doing well.
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