Julian Dean Diary

News & Results

04/15/2004| 0 comments
by Julian Dean

Julian Dean Diary

Paris-Roubaix.

Paris-Roubaix
The Race That I?m Never Supposed To Finish.... <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>


During the team meeting in the morning, we were talking with Roger about the race. He asked me how many times I had done Paris-Roubaix and my results. I counted in my head four times and with my tail between my legs, I said I had never finished.


Legeay looked at me a little strangely and asked, ?You don't want to finish???? I felt embarrassed. ?Of course, I want to finish.? I replied. That was all I had to say. The truth is, every single time that I have ridden this race, I have been at the disposal of my team leaders. Hincapie on U.S Postal and Tafi on CSC. I chose not to voice my reasons though. I didn?t want to sound as though I was making excuses.


I was hoping that today was going to be my chance. I knew that it would be very unlikely to win but I had it in mind to make the finish. Paris-Roubaix is a strange race and a result wasn?t entirely impossible. Stranger things have happened in this race. Credit Agricole races very differently to other teams that I?ve been on and although Thor was our man for the race, we are not expected to sacrifice ourselves like I have on teams in the past. It?s more about just keeping an eye out for him which allows us to also look out for ourselves.

In the opening kms I tried to get in a few breaks but the headwind made that idea difficult and it soon became obvious that it was going to be impossible to get a group formed, let alone stay away. At this point, I decided to settle in and stay sheltered till the first section of cobbles after 100km.


Just as well I did as I got talking to old team-mate and friend, George Hincapie and learned that he?s going to be a father in November. Nice. Congrats to George and his girlfriend.


Having a bit of a chit chat and a catch up in the peloton is part of pro racing. It?s especially good to hear some good news like this when much of the conversation lately has been focused on the Cofidis issue and their decision to suspend racing for the time being.


Anyway, I hit the first section of cobbles fresh and close enough at the front to be comfortable. The first sections are always chaos. A lot of riders are beginning to sit up, some are trying their hardest but going nowhere ?cause they just don't have it, others are crashing, others are trying to avoid the crashes and then there are some who are just cruising. It was a battle over the first few sections of pave to vie for position but after a while it settled down a little. Coming off the 4th section, before the first feed, the last part of the cobbles was downhill. I coasted down sitting easily in the top 40 riders. The peloton already strung out for miles. At

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