Julian Dean Diary
Four Days of Dunkerque - Stage 3
Back In Amongst It.
Today, at last, I was able to get back in amongst all the action again and grab 2nd place in the bunch sprint. After what has seemed like an eternity, and some very difficult periods, I was finally able to show everyone that I still exist in the peloton! It's a nice feeling.
Although it was only 2nd place, which doesn't count for much given the results the team has had lately, I'm more than happy. I've had a lot of problems the last couple of weeks with my knee and haven't been able to train that much so I know that I'm definitely a little short physically. As for sprinting, I haven't had the opportunity to do power or sprint effort training for many months, so for me to get this result today was not a bad effort at all.
The stage was a little up and down the whole way with the 16km finishing circuit being the hardest part of the day. We had a climb with 10km to go which split the field and caused a bit of chaos. It pretty much all came back together with a couple of kms to go but the race was still strung out. As we came under the 1km banner I called team-mate Hoffy to take me to the front with Jaja Jr. Jaja Jr had been in a small break until a few kms to go and so was in the 'red zone'; he didn't have any gas left to help. So it was up to Hoffy. He let it rip, giving me an awesome lead-out to the 500m mark. The others started to come over us and I battled to maintain a position close to the 'Estonian Bomb', Jan Kirsipuu. When he lit it up, I was sure that it was too early. I waited for a moment then jumped. As I started to move up on him, he didn't die at all, even though we were up against a head wind. I was closing in on his front wheel but it was too late - we crossed the line. He was definitely the man today. He was so strong. And I was just stoked to have come a close second to him.
Tomorrow is the day which will decide the GC. It's a hard circuit race for the climbers. My plan is just to get through it. If I was in really good condition, I'd be up to give it a go, but from the small climbs we had to race over today and how much I suffered doing it, I don't think that it'll be possible. I'll just take it as it comes. One thing is for sure though, I'm not planning on wrecking myself.
Check out our recent wait a minute interview with Julian.
Read more about what Julian gets up to in the peloton on his Web site at http://www.juliandean.co.nz/
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