Julian Dean Diary
A super belated update.
needs to be experienced to be believed?
After the race, it was nice to be at the hotel at the top and watch the rest of the race on TV as the dozen or so helicopters flew up and down the mountain - and just hoping that LA didn?t eliminate me. I was pretty sure I was going to be ok?And I was.
Also on my mind was the next day?s stage. It was the king day and with a 20km climb 10km out of the starting blocks, it was going to be a big effort to find a group and ride to the finish inside the time-cut.
As hard as it was, the hardest day of the Tour de France was one of the ones that I enjoyed the most. The goal was to get through it by finding a good group and riding to the finish. Over the first climb, Col de Glandon, it was pretty controlled. With a small group breaking away in the early kilometers, the peloton just rode steady up to the 1900m summit. After the descent and on the start of the Col de Madeleine, I managed to go back to the car and get my team-mates some bottles before I waved good-bye to them and wished them luck on the epic day. As I drifted back, I looked behind to see a group of 30 plus riders starting to form. Nice!! This was it - these were going to be my comrades for the day. We would ride our own pace up the climbs, bomb the descents and tempo our way through the valleys in between. A perfect formula for making the time-cut ? the only thing we needed to achieve.
As it turned out, I enjoyed the ride, the people and the atmosphere. People had no problem waiting the extra 30min for us to come by. And when we did, the enthusiasm they showed was still intensely insane. Maybe even more so because we were able to give them attention as we rolled up within our limits, taking in the surroundings.
On the last climb, I rode ahead of the groupeto (or ?group echo? as it has been referred to by some????) to stop for a moment to see Carole and our friends, who had told me they were on the last climb. At the bottom of the 12km climb, I pressed ahead hoping that they were just around the corner. ?No?maybe the next one? Nah?well maybe they are half way ? I?ll just keep riding a little harder to stay ahead of the group and then I?ll be able to stop for a bit longer. Nah?they aren?t in the first half. Oh well, I?ve come this far so I?ll keep going?, even though by now I was getting a little frustrated. With 3km to the top, I started to swear to myself. Never mind though, I was still having a good time. People were fizzing I was on my own and getting all the attention was kinda cool. I was also getting all