Julian Dean Diary
I decided on the last road stage of Romandie to call it quits with 50km to go. I was feeling a little uneasy about some pain I had in my knee the day before and I didn't want to take any risk with the Giro only one week away.
The last stage was only a hilly TT so it wasn?t really my cup of tea anyway. This also allowed me to go home a day earlier and have another half day with Carole before I go to the Giro. This is especially important for us as when I come back we are expecting our new arrival and it?ll be all on then. In a normal life, half a day might not seem like much but the way we live it?s a lot and we always appreciate any time we can get together.
The last two stages I did of Romandie were both mountain stages and although difficult I was feeling better and able to get through them with a good group and in a safe time. Thankfully my stomach had settled down by the time we moved into the big climbs so that made things a lot easier.
With El Cipo not at the Giro now I?ll have to look at Petacchi as a rider to stay with so that I can safely and conservatively get to the finish in the big mountain stages. Romandie was a good test for this and on both the mountain days, I was able to stay with him and his hearty cavalry. I only hope that he wasn't bluffing and saving himself for the Giro.
From this race, I think that I can be pretty confident about my form for the Giro. I?ve managed to drop a few kilos which has made a huge difference to my climbing so I know that I?ll be able to get through the tour ok. Hopefully I can make it through a couple of the harder stages where some of the other sprinters might normally be dropped. This would give me a good opportunity for a result. As for the big mass sprints, I?m not really confident of my pure sprinting power at the moment. The lack of specific sprint training and racing I?ve had to date this year is what has knocked the confidence. I know that I have it in me but so far this year I have had difficulties getting it out through the pedals.
With all the setbacks and injuries I?ve had, I haven't really had a lot of time to work on it so it?ll be difficult to expect something in that area. But you never know, sometimes it?s just there without doing anything and all you have to do is believe in yourself. The other thing with sprinting is that it can easily happen for you if the race goes the right way.
This is what I?ll be doing when I line up for the first hair-raising sprint next Sunday. I?ll be giving it a nudge. I love it and if there?s one race in the world where it?s all on in the sprints, it?s the Giro.
As for training this week, the most important thing is to make sure the weird feeling in my knee subsides and I?m 100% healthy at the line. Even if that means not being as ready on the first day as I would like to be. There?s still three weeks of racing to work on the form. One thing for sure is that I definitely don't want to push things in training this week and cause any damage to the knee.
Will keep you posted?
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