Julian Dean Diary
Today?s stage was a pretty significant improvement on yesterdays. Before the stage I was pretty nervous, thinking that with how I was feeling I wouldn?t be able to finish. Although my stomach was better I still wasn't feeling at all great.
As it turned out I wasn't too bad. Without a doubt I was suffering a lot on the climbs but somehow I managed to get through them ok and was even able to have a play in the sprint. Feeling a little unsure of myself, I was perhaps not as aggressive as I could?ve been in fighting for Petacchi?s wheel. I finished sixth after getting caught behind Petacchi?s final lead-out man and I was actually able to close in on Petacchi at the end when I finally found some space - so I feel pretty ok with my result. The thing is in sprinting you have to make your own space and not wait for it to come to you, which is what I did. This is largely due to my lack of confidence though and not really knowing whether I had the gas in me today to be competitive in the sprint at all.
In any case, any improvement is hugely welcome and I was feeling much better for it - as was the team.
I?m still not feeling 100% with the stomach infection but I hope that in the next couple of days it?ll be gonzo and I?ll be 100% by the Giro? I?m amping to get in amongst it and see what form I?ve got when everything is going right?
Tomorrow is the first of 2 mountain days. So essentially, results-wise, the Tour is over for me. I?ll still stay in just for the racing and training as it?ll be good to do some big climbs before the Giro. I only hope that the weather stays nice. Not feeling up for cold and wet shami-time.
That just reminded me of something from the first stage when I went to sign in. It seems that whenever it?s raining in Europe and people find out that you?re from NZ, they love to tell you that the weather is just like what we get in New Zealand. Yeh sure, I always think, but are they trying to say that Switzerland has better weather than NZ? Or that if I was in NZ it would be raining there as well? I just never understand what people are getting at when they say that to me. I?m sure that they don't say to the Belgian guys, "Ah, raining just like in Belgium". One day I might think of a good answer. Or rather, a response.