Julian Dean Diary
Tour de France: Stage 5-7.
Tour de France - Stage 5: <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Rain Jackets On?Rain Jackets Off?On?Off?On?
Today was much like the Tour of Southland (NZ). Wind, rain and cold. With a block headwind most of the day with the occasional crosswind section and intermittent periods of sunshine amongst long stints of rain, it was a horrible day. USPS were keen to let a break go and off load the jersey so that they didn?t have to be responsible for controlling the race. They did this by letting a break go by twenty minutes after which they rode a steady tempo to bring it back to 12min by the finish. It was an extremely long day with the wind in the face and super nervous as everyone wanted to be at the front in case of a serious crosswind section.
It was one of those battling days. Worst of all, I didn?t know what to do with my rain jacket. Every time I put it on, it would rain for a bit then stop. I?d take it off then immediately the rain would start again. I couldn?t win. In the end, I just left it on. I think that I?ll cut the sleeves off so that it?s a little easier to stuff into my pocket next time. Pocket space is at a premium and I don?t want to waste space on a rain jacket!
Although this doesn?t seem to be a problem for Dekker though who I was surprised to see pull out a full sized ham and cheese sanger from his pocket today. ?Nice?? I said. ?You have enough for everybody?? , as he started to munch away.
Tour de France - Stage 6:
Lucky me last night had dinner with the French Minister of Sport and Race Director, Jean Marie LeBlanc. To tell you the truth, it was a pretty long and arduous night after a long day. We didn?t get back to the rooms till <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>. This aside, the food was shit. Even though we were staying at the notoriously bad, Ibis chain hotel, I thought that with the French Minister of Sport there, they would make a better effort. But nah! As is typical with Ibis, the food was shit with overcooked pasta and dry crusty chicken. We get used to this racing in
Anyway, we were expecting the worse with the weather again today but it wasn?t too bad. A little period of rain and a mostly favourable wind - well, it felt like it sitting in the bunch. This felt good after the shit weather of the past few days.
It was an early break again today. I tried to have a crack but couldn?t go anywhere this morning. In fact, after the first 50km, I was feeling like a loser as I couldn?t even get to the front