Julian Dean Diary

News & Results

06/2/2009| 0 comments
by Julian Dean

Julian Dean Diary

2009 Giro d'Italia: And so on and on it went...

2009 Giro d'Italia: And so on and on it went...

Finally we've wrapped up the Giro - the 100th edition of the World's second greatest bike race.

After Tuesday's rest day, I was looking forward to what I hoped would be a more settled and relaxed race as the pattern of the race became more apparent. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Every stage of the last week was just as intense as the first week. Even the two mountain top finishes were stressful. The first of which, immediately after the rest day, looked probably the easiest stage of the race, as it was only 80km long. However the final 30km took us straight up a mountain. Because it was such a short stage, us non-climbers still had to ride solidly to finish inside the time-cut so the pressure was still on for much of race until we knew we'd make it. So contrary to what I'd longed for, there was nothing 'easy' about that stage....

Stage 18 turned out to be one of only two stages where a breakaway would ride to the finish for the win. Somehow, through a rare stroke of luck, I managed to pick the right time and follow a wheel that landed me in the break with 24 other old mates. It was pretty funny actually, as I hadn't seen the front of the race the whole day and at times, was swinging off the back 'til the one moment that the break went. It was nothing but pure luck. The one effort at hunting down a breakaway and there I was and off I went!

The first 20km of the stage was uphill and I actually thought that it would've been hard up to the top of the climb by which time the break would have established itself. But no, instead it was all on like Donkey Kong for the first 80km, with groups going and coming back willy nilly until I, spending most of that first 80km bringing up the rear 'til this moment, found myself in the right place at the right time. I followed the right wheel and our breakaway was the one to stick. We were a group of 25 riders - a big break - and it was always going to be a bit of a lottery coming in to the finish.

Once in move, it was a matter of doing my bit - but not too much. We were a big group with a lot of very capable riders. 15 km from the finish, a group of 7 went away from our 25 and they went on to win the stage. Danny Pate was in there for us so once that group was established, I couldn't do much except jump on the other guys who tried to close the gap, and shut them down. Danny went on to get second which was pretty sweet. It felt good to be a participater in the race again instead of just filling the bunch, like it seems I've been doing most days.

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