Julian Dean Diary
Tour de France - Stage 2: We did it!
Tour de France ? Stage 2: <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
We did it. We took the jersey today. With a break up the road for most of the day, the chance for us to take the yellow jersey came in the last sprint. Thor had to finish in the top three to get some bonus seconds to take the jersey.
It was not too bad a day generally. I was able to sit at the back for most of the stage and cruise along. I went to the front a couple of time ?cause I thought that it would be better and safer but hell it was a shit fight - a constant merry-go-round to stay up there. In the end, I just decided to sit at the back and cruise where I could relax and not stress. Seemed like everyone wanted to be at the front. For what, I don?t know. I was thinking of going up and telling LA to come back and check it out. He seemed pretty content up there though and after 5 tour wins I figured that he probably knows what he?s doing. Just thought he might like to try something new. I guess that there are some risks by sitting at the back but it?s certainly a lot less stressful. At least until 50km to go when the Director pulled up in the car and told me to get my ass up there. No problem though, it was about time to get in amongst it.
The sprint was crazy, crazy, crazy. It was a case of quack or be quacked. So I quacked a lot to get Thor to the front with 300m to go. It was a little too early but at around 700m to go we were pretty far back and Fassa Bortolo were going all out for Petacchi. I had to move Thor up so I went around the outside as the road curved gently to the left. As we came up beside the Fassa train, it began to die. Next thing I knew, I had blown straight past them and was at the front. All I could do was keep going. I wasn?t really sprinting but in the saddle powering it. At around 350m to go I began blow up. The last of the Fassa Bortolo lead-out guys came underneath me with Thor on his wheel. Perfect. I had done my job and I was done.
Thor punched on to finish second. Not a win but he took the jersey. I am stoked for him and I am happy to do my job well but I think a lot about my form and how I would be going in the sprints. I don?t have the opportunity at the moment and I wouldn?t dare take one but it?s always near the forefront of my mind, as I have to say, I am flying. Right now, I declare myself to be the best lead-out guy in the World. Maybe one day I?ll get to have a nudge at the