Julian Dean Diary
Giro d?Italia ? Stage 3: Nice day for it...
If nothing else it was a nice day for it. We had excellent conditions, sunny and warm. A lovely May day - the second in a row. All went well at the start, except for Zabel who got his brakehood caught on a baby's shoe while we were waiting for the gun to go. He didn't know and when he went to roll off he nearly took the baby and the mother with him. Maybe he wouldn't have minded though as she wasn?t bad looking.
Continuing north up the coast, an early break went and then tempo was set for the day. We rode most of the day at a steady rate of 40km to keep the break at bay. It made for a pretty nice day rolling along the coast in perfect conditions. I was able to catch up with guys I hadn?t spoken to in ages while taking in the breathtaking vistas before knuckling down to business?
As we neared the finish the pace began to pick up, as you would expect. We caught the break just after the 30km to go banner and on the final 15km circuit, CSC set the high speed. It was hard but good as it kept most of the quacking to a minimum. It was pretty up and down ?til the last 4km so it wasn't easy. With 4km to go I expected the Fassa Bortolo crew to take control on the dead straight run in to the finish.
They sort of did but there was a lot of fighting behind as everyone battled for position behind them. I had spoken with Kirsipu early on in the race and he said he was feeling good. I had been feeling pretty average so we made the decision to do the sprint for him. I managed to hold my position really well in the last 15km and waiting the wings in the final km, I had a moment to go so I took it.
I didn't hit out at maximum but instead at a speed that I could maintain a little longer yet still come over Fassa. I did this, taking Jans alongside Petacchi, at that moment I hit the front. Then I accelerated and went with everything I had ?til 250m or so. At that point, dudes now started to come over me and my job was done. I had actually carried out a good, strong lead-out and felt stronger than what I had expected to.
Unfortunately the end result didn?t go our way. Jans punched out, I believe, a little too early and got swallowed up finishing 15th. Nevermind though, that?s sprinting. Regardless of the result on paper, I felt pretty satisfied with myself and it was a nice feeling to get back in amongst it again?
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