Julian Dean Diary
A super belated update.
the pushes which was a good thing. Something you don?t get in a group.
At the 1km to go, I was at the point where I felt that if I saw them now, I would ride straight past them. With 500m left, I had given up hope. As if as a consolation prize, some joker on the roadside offered me a beer as I rode past so in good sporting nature, I took it and had a swig. 200m later, out of the crowd, jumped a couple of other mates, Cookie and Mary-Anne. Not who I had expected to see but pleased all the same and I was stoked to have been able to offer Cookie a nice cold beer. As soon as I stopped and flicked Cookie the beer, we were surrounded by people with cameras clicking all over the show. People were just fizzing. I guess it?s not that often a rider stops in the middle of a stage for a chat with friends! I waited for my group to catch up, said my good-byes and carried on.
Never did get to see Carole and co. Oh well, the idea was nice. The road had been closed before they were able to get up so were on the descent instead. Anyway it was only a few kms to go and I was pleased that I had passed the day.
The last proper road stage was open slather from the start. It was everyone?s last chance to get in a break and try for a stage win. I wasn?t good at the start, in the drizzling rain, and was unable to get in to any moves that were of any use.
After the break had gone and Lance pulled his stunt by chasing down Simeoni, everything settled down and we rode steadily to the finish. The ITT was next up the following day...
Lance stamped his authority and scared everybody once again, in this hard time-trial. After doing mine in the rain, again I sat back in the hotel watching the big-hitters on tv. The night before, I had sat down and calculated a time schedule I needed to stick to in order to make the time-cut. I had decided to base it on Lance hammering out a 55km/hr effort - one I thought would be impossible and therefore making my schedule a very safe bet. When I saw Lance take 43sec out of Ullrich in the first 10km of the race, I had a wee scare and had to get out the calculator on my cellphone and check that if he kept up that pace, I wouldn?t be out of the time-cut. If he had I think that I would?ve been out but thankfully it was sweet. He stayed even the rest of the stage and I was well inside the limit. Turned out that my schedule was perfectly executed!
And that final effort brought me to the last day of the Tour de France. It was a great day for the peloton to relax a