Julian Dean Diary

News & Results

07/16/2003| 0 comments
by Julian Dean
Julian Dean - Team CSC sprinter
Julian Dean - Team CSC sprinter

Julian Dean Diary

Team CSC sprinter Julian Dean comments on the developments in the Tour de France.

14th July - Tour de France <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>


No Big Surprises....


So far it has been a Tour full of drama but not really full of surprises.  The first week was nothing short of chaotic mayhem as the sprinters bashed it out with each other while 'wanna-be' sprinters just got in the way.  Petacchi proved he's the fastest guy there and is unstoppable when things go smoothly for him.  Simply, he's just that much better than anyone else right now.

Personally though, I think the sprinting would've been more exciting to watch if Cippo had been able to take the start line.  It would've been interesting to watch Petacchi and the 'Lion King' battle it out in the sprints.


Cookie (Baden Cooke) managed to sneak in there one day and although Robbie had the green jersey for a few days, he certainly hasn't been the Robbie of last year. 


Although the big crash marred the first week by injuring and, in some cases eliminating, several of the favourites for the mountains, it was really nothing new.  Every year there are crashes in the first week that take out probables and possibles.  This year one of those riders was my team-mate, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
.  For years those concerned have complained about the risky parcours but nothing has changed and nothing probably will change.  The bottom line is, there will always be hideous crashes in the first few days of the Tour as long as the peloton is bursting at the seams with numbers and brimming with nervous energy. 


When the Tour moved into the first of the mountain stages, we started to get a glimpse at who is good and who is the best.  The first real 'mountain goat' day, up to Alpe d' Huez, saw the Posties take the helm and keep things under a tight rein for as long as possible.  Meanwhile, Lance just sat in and controlled things as and when needed.  I think that he's happy just to wait at the moment. After Alpe d'Huez, some people seem silly enough to think Lance is not as strong as expected.  Let's not under-estimate him.  He's a class act and he's smart.  I think this Tour is somewhat of a chess game for him and he's picking his moves with great care.  The stages in the
Pyrenees are much harder this year and I reckon he'll tear it up once they get there.  To me, he looks very good and is going to dominate when the time is right....just as in other years.


Monday's stage brought with it some more drama and pain.  This time for Beloki.  He fell heavily on the final descent and apparently has 3 broken bones.  His hopes for the Tour have been crushed which is a real shame as he was looking very strong on the climbs and seemed set to stir it up in GC.

Hopefully he will heal quickly and come back in time for the Vuelta although realistically he'll most likely be out for the rest of the year.



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