July 05, 2004
Riders' diaries update: Dean, Hamilton, Backstedt
Dean provided the leadout for Thor Hushovd today, and Thor looked, well, thunder-ific, and Dean gives you a look inside the head of a lead-out man:
The sprint was crazy, crazy, crazy. It was a case of quack or be quacked. So I quacked a lot to get Thor to the front with 300m to go. It was a little too early but at around 700m to go we were pretty far back and Fassa Bortolo were going all out for Petacchi. I had to move Thor up so I went around the outside as the road curved gently to the left. As we came up beside the Fassa train, it began to die. Next thing I knew, I had blown straight past them and was at the front. All I could do was keep going. I wasn’t really sprinting but in the saddle powering it. At around 350m to go I began [to] blow up. The last of the Fassa Bortolo lead-out guys came underneath me with Thor on his wheel. Perfect. I had done my job and I was done.
Tyler's clearly on eggshells about tomorrow's pavé:
Tomorrow will be another difficult day. It's the Paris-Roubaix stage of the Tour this year. I'm not a big guy so I'm not really looking forward to riding the cobblestones. I'm glad we had a chance to preview the roads before the start of the race. So we know what's ahead, and what we have to do to stay out of trouble. Now it's just a matter of doing it. Wasn't I just saying something about stress?
One of my favorite riders isn't going so well in the early stages:
These are supposed to me my kinds of days and, as I said, I am sort of on home turf, but it was all I could do just to stay in the field. If I knew what was wrong with me, I'd be a happy man, because I could do something about it. As it is, I have no idea why I feel like I lack power and struggling on the bike.
It's really tough on my head. I want to get my body to do more, but it just doesn't seem to want to follow through.
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