Julian Dean Diary
Thought I'd do a wee 2008 Tour de France Round-Up seeing as my husband will, at this very moment be incredibly wobbly on his feet. It's 11.35pm post-stage 21, so he'll be fairly 'off guts' by now I'd say, as he celebrates the end of the TdF with his team. I've only been treated to a five minute chat with him this evening. The guys were biking back to the hotel after the stage and got way-laid in a bar enroute so I managed to talk to him in between sips of whatever it was he was drinking. My two guesses would be Vodka or Rickard ... Although it's not unlike him to have one of each in each hand. Thank god he's not an octopus!
Right, just to get straight to the point, this is how it stacked up for Julz:
Stage 5 -10th
Stage 8 - 19th
Stage 12 - 9th
Stage 13 - 9th
Stage 14 - 4th
Stage 19 - 10th
Stage 21 - 6th
Green Jersey standings - 9th
General Classificaton - contrary to what the NZ media thinks, who cares! He's a sprinter not a climber. GC standings mean nothing to the sprinters and everything to the mountain goats.
From my point of view, that is a wicked TdF '08. This is the first TdF Julian has been able to hunt down his own results. Of course his objective was to win a stage which he didn't accomplish but let's be realistic; to win a sprint stage in the Tour without the support of a lead-out train is a HUGE task and one where luck is needed - even if you have the strongest legs on the day. Although the win remained elusive, he was super consistent! And that shows his class.
Is Julz satisfied with his Tour? Short answer: kind of. At the moment, anyway. He's an elite athlete and they are a hard bunch of buggers to please when it comes to their performances and results. Julian is especially hard on himself which isn't always a good thing. I know in a few days time when he manages to get things into perspective, he'll look back over these 3 weeks and concede that he rode a great Tour, although he'll always carry with him the 'If only...' scenarios.
As far as the helmet-cam footage of Alpe d'Huez goes... We've had a lot of requests for it to be cyber-posted. Even his team website want to get hold of it. We'll take a look at it and see what we can do... Knowing Julz though, he forgot to press the 'record' button.....
Where to from here???? Beijing. Hot, sticky, over-crowded, stinky and polluted Beijing. A health hazard for any athlete who's going to have to compete in the endurance disciplines. Maybe as part of his final build-up to Beijing, he should spend a few days hanging out in those heinous 'smoking' rooms in Hong Kong airport, wearing every piece of clothing he can muster. Maybe that's just the 'acclimitisation' training he needs to pull off a big ride on the 9th August...
Anyway guys, thanks for all your support over the last three weeks. It's been yet another blast to have you all along for the ride. We absolutely love reading all your messages and they really do make a difference to Julian's morale. It's humbling to see so many people from all over the World supporting Julz, the farm boy from Waihi.
I guess for all you die-hard Tour fans, life will slip quietly back to normal until July '09. For those of you down in the Antipodes, the lounges-come-makeshift-bedrooms will be transformed back into lounges, with all sleeping accessories taken back to the bedroom, and you can now treat yourselves to a full night's sleep. Maybe even manage to bank a few z's through the day when nobody's looking.
I'd like to say that Julz will write a diary within the next couple of days for you, with his thoughts on his TdF but I'm not gonna promise you anything. I'm too knackered from being a single parent of two for 26 sleeps to take to him with the 'nagging' stick. I'll quietly suggest it nonetheless.
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