Julian Dean Diary
2008 Tour de France - Stage 14: Gettin Up There...
Today was a little better again as I ran 4th in the sprint. My best result so far. It helped that a few of the sprinters were dropped on the last climb with 10k to go. It was a tough moment in the race and I had to bust my balls to get over it. I went deep and it hurt but that's what you have to do sometimes - well, most of the time actually.
Although I finished 4th, the sprint went far from well. I found myself almost in the exact same situation as yesterday with Milram doing the lead-out and running out of riders too early to hit out. Today after we got swarmed from both sides, I found a way out on the left-hand side. Some guys had gone way too early which opened it up. That, along with the fact that guys were on the limit from the last climb, made room for me. I was also in the red like most; I had had a constant battle for position throughout the last 10k but I had managed my position well until 500m to go when the Milram train ran out of puff.
Once I had the room to move, I went. I had to spend a lot of time out in the wind coming from far back. It was one of the hardest sprints I have done and I thought my lungs were going to pop once I crossed the line.
The whole day had been hard. The sun was beating down on us with no mercy - it was the hottest day of the Tour so far this year and the heat along with the high tempo of the race to reel back in the break, made me feel as though I was dragging a tyre the whole day. So in the end to do what I did, I guess wasn't too shabby.
So thanks to everyone for your messages of support. Keeping 'em coming.
We're off into the big mountains tomorrow. Hold on to your hats, there's gonna to be some good racing...
Team Garmin-Chipotle presented by H3O
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