Julian Dean Diary
Tour of Picardie - Stage 2
Tour of Picardie - Stage 2, 189kms
Today I finished third in the field sprint but I think that was probably due more to good luck than good form on my part. What got me there to the final at all, was the awesome team effort of our boys. They helped me to get into a good position but unfortunately I didn't have the power that I should've had in the sprint to follow through from their efforts.
It was another hard and fast day. Right from the start of the stage, we raced full gas and our team followed as many of the attacks as we could. Most of the time, our concerted team effort ensured that we were in amongst it when we had to be.
As we neared the finish we had a couple of harder climbs which I managed to get over, although not without a struggle. Once the climbs were out of the way with 10kms to go, we had a tailwind to the finish and the pace of the race was fast.
With 2 kms to go, the boys had me at the front and I was third wheel at the 1km banner with Lars and Arvis taking over as Geert pulled off. Lotto then came down the right and I jumped in with them. At the 200m mark, I made my move and began my sprint. As we neared the finish line, I was still out front but I was starting to feel the length of the sprint; my legs were burning. I tried like buggery to hold them off but as we crossed the finish there were 5 of us spread across the line. At first I wasn't sure where I had got.
I wasn't feeling that good in the sprint, or in fact, the whole day. Needless to say, I was pretty happy with third as I can feel that my sprint is not what it can be. The team were really good and I hope that we can repeat it in Stage 3. Hopefully my sprinting legs will pin themselves on tonight while I'm sleeping and I'll have a better day tomorrow! It was a bloody good team effort and I was only the last part of it. I just wish I could've finished it off properly for the guys today...
We have a short stage in the morning and then a 5km TT in the afternoon. Here's hoping I can do a good TT and finish in the top ten tomorrow. The points would be handy.
There's another Kiwi in the peloton here. Young fella by the name of Hayden Roulston. Nice lad with loads of talent. He's riding really well and seems to have settled into the European pro- cycling world nicely. Keep an eye out for him. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Check out our recent wait a minute interview with Julian.
Read more about what Julian gets up to in the peloton on his Web site at http://www.juliandean.co.nz/
Are you interested in top-flight cycling eyewear? If the answer is