Julian Dean Diary
Tour de France: Stage 5-7.
of the bunch. After about 100km, I finally found my legs.
The break came back in the final few kilometers as the peloton hammered through the final 10kms. The arrival into town at breakneck speeds, dodging roundabouts and traffic islands was a sure lead up to a heinous crash. It was pretty hair-raising and I felt like I was risking my life to try and get amongst it. At that point I decided not to think about it. It?s really a severe case of sensory over-stimulation. The rush is just insane. You have to concentrate so much and be super alert as it can all change so quickly. And it did. Coming in to the final few hundred metres, a huge crash unfolded to my left and the domino effect was quickly surging my way. At the time, I was overlapping the back wheel of Kirsipuu in front of me. Suddenly he swerved erratically to the right taking out my front wheel. ?Down.? was all I was thinking, ?Down, down, down?.? Somehow, as my wheel tangled with his rear derailleur, I was able to move to the far right of the road with him and my wheel freed up. My heart was in my mouth, I swallowed it again, regained my composure and looked back for Thor, who had been on my wheel up until that point, ready for my lead-out. I couldn?t see him. I looked back again and still he was nowhere to be seen. Now with only a few hundred metres left, I negotiated the last two corners in an effort to salvage what I could out of the insane experience, finishing 8th. I tell you, I have had a lot of very close calls in this race. None closer than today though?.It?s really unnerving...
Tour de France - Stage 7:
Today, the start of the stage was like never before. I could not believe how fast we were going for the first hour. We must have averaged 55km/hr as everyone tried to make the break-aways. It was one of the most impressive hours of racing I?ve ever been a part of. Although it was hard and fast, I was happy that the sun was shining, which we haven?t had much of since the start of the Tour. It wasn?t going to be that way all day though as 30km from the finish, we hit the rain again and crosswinds which ripped the race apart there for a while.
From the early stage madness, Dekker had gone in a break with one other Lotto rider but when the race got heavy at the end, they were quickly brought back. Maybe he didn?t have time to eat his sandwich today and that?s why he couldn?t stay away. He?d need a half hour to eat that kind of sandwich and for sure he couldn?t find the time today!
Coming in to Saint-Brieuc, the finish town, the race was all over the show with no team able to keep it together for a sprint.