Julian Dean Diary
2008 Tour de France: Stage 12: 9th and Stage 13: 9th
You might think that getting 9th two days in a row would give me the same satisfaction. Well, as strange as it my seem, the 9th in today's 13th stage was much more satisfying than my 9th place yesterday.
Yesterday I was pretty bummed with my placing. Hence, no diary last night! I was gutted that I didn't get myself into a good position to sprint from. I had great legs and felt a bit ripped off by not getting a better result. I had to fight too much for position and then ended up being too far back once it was time to throw down the gauntlet. Today, the focus was to position myself better so I had a good place to start the sprint from. And I did exactly that. I guess that it's the old performance vs results comparison. Both results were the the same but the performance of today was better and way more satisfying.
I lined the sprint up well behind Zable and his Milram train but he ran out of riders at 350m to go. We got stuck in that dead zone where it's too early to hit out but too late to hesitate. As it turned out, we both hesitated, hoping that his last man would hold on a little more but he died losing speed before it was time to hit out and we got swamped by guys with the speed coming from behind.
It was a ride I was happy with. Each time I am improving as I get back both the confidence and the knack for sprinting for myself. I haven't really had the opportunity to sprint much so far this year so I hope I can keep on refining things to get it right before the Tour ends. The form feels good and the confidence is growing - apart from a sprinkling of luck, the two most important ingredients to a successful sprint.
Nothing would make me happier than getting it right just one time before the end of the Tour. Although I'm not sure how many more chances there'll be for a bunchie now; maximum two, and possibly only in Paris.
Team Garmin-Chipotle presented by H3O
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