Julian Dean Diary
Worlds 2005 - Part two of a two part story...
I made a quick decision to keep going with everything I had left to spare. If I was going to be caught by the peloton with Petacchi, McEwen and Boonen, I was going to have little chance anyway after making such a big effort so I decided that I had to stay committed to what I was doing. Approaching the start finish/straight, I could feel the peloton breathing down my neck but I fought it all the way, holding guys in front of me.
At 2.5km to go I was caught by the peloton which, to my surprise, only contained a few riders and none of the favourites except Boonen and Valverde. I had about 1km to recover as best I could and then try and position myself for the sprint. The truth is I thought the group that I had been dropped from was going to stay away and we would be sprinting for minor placings. As it turned out, we caught all but Vino on the last turn and on the finishing straight we collected Vino. It was at this moment in my exhausted and dazed state that I realized we were going for the win.
Coming out of the last turn, I made a small acceleration to better my position. All I could feel in my legs were pain at this point. I felt no power - just emptiness and soreness. I knew that I didn?t have a good enough position; I needed to be on Boonen?s or Valverde?s wheel, but I wasn?t and I had to do the best from where I was. I moved to the left and in what seemed like the longest 500m in the World I gained a few places until I was up to 9th place which I held to the line. From the effort I put out through the last three km?s, I paid for it in those final 500m and ninth was all I could muster.
As an athlete, if you don?t win you never feel truly satisfied. I guess that?s what makes us competitive athletes. The desire to do better and go further exists so strongly within us. If I didn?t have this I wouldn?t still be doing what I do with the motivation that I have. Although shit it?s frustrating to be so close yet so far from the big one. That one big victory just always seems to elude me. So often I?m always just there but not quite. At least it keeps me going I suppose?
Most importantly at the end of the day I can say that I gave it everything. I did some incredibly hard training days in the weeks before. Actually from the time I have been back on the road in mid-July, I have given it everything I had in me and then some but on the day I just wasn?t good enough. There are certainly no ?what if?s? in terms of my preparation post-surgery and for me that lets me feel satisfied with my performance.
As far as the race goes, I always think that I should have done things differently but it is easy to be the intelligent tactician afterwards. If I hadn?t have tried to follow Vino and Bettini, I would?ve been able to stay with the group of Boonen and had an easy ride to the finish where I would have had a much better chance in the sprint because I wouldn?t have expended all that energy in the break. On the other hand, I think that I went with the right decision at the time even though it didn?t work out. I had to take my chance. I went into the race with a race plan and I stuck to it. This was the most important thing. I didn?t trust my form in the Olympics and chose not to follow the crucial move of Bettini. I have regretted this decision ever since. I didn?t want to make that same mistake in the Worlds and although things didn?t go my way, I have no regrets about my decisions this time. Although I do know that if I had the form I had at the Olympics, I would have been able to be there until the death with Bettini and Vino.
All things considering ? my injury, the surgery, the short amount of time I have been back on the bike, and the way that I rode, it was truly an awesome performance.
Once again I have to give all my thanks to Carole for being such an integral part of our success. Putting up with my grumpy, difficult days when the last thing that I wanted to do was to go training, yet time and time again, she always manages to get me out on the bike. I really believe that it?s only the partners of other athletes who understand completely what life with an athlete really means. Naturally things have been a little different with Tanner. Carole hasn?t been able to get out on the bike with me or motor-pace me but all the same, I couldn?t have done it without them both. I have been very fortunate in that it?s been Carole who has taken on full responsibility of Tanner while I?ve been preparing for the Worlds. I?ve only had to play my part during the fun times of Tanner when he has been happy and wanting to play but for the rest of it, and the most demanding times, Carole has asked nothing of me as she understands my need for rest and recovery off the bike. I?m very lucky and very thankful for her understanding.
Well that about sums it up for my thoughts on the Worlds. I hope that now I can go on with the form I have and get some results before the season ends. To break the dry spell of victories in the next couple of weeks would be nice. Even if it?s just a small one, although at this point any result is more than welcome.