Garmin leadout man prepares for Tour's hectic first week
One of the most experienced leadout men in this year's Tour de France, Garmin-Transitions' Julian Dean is expecting a hectic opening week of the 2010 event.
The laid back New Zealander has worked for the likes of Thor Hushovd in the past, although this year's Tour sees him take care of American sprinter Tyler Farrar, who has already delivered at Grand Tours this season, having won two stages of the Giro d'Italia.
"Our objective is to work for Tyler in the first week. We want to hit the ground running so you have to be in top form from the start," said Dean. "If you can hang on to your form after that, then it's great. But for us it's really important to target those first few days," he explained.
"It's a totally different approach to a GC rider, who is looking to find his best form in the last week and targets the Alps and the Pyrenees which are so important for them.
"For us obviously the sprints in the first week are what it is all about for our part of the team. So we have to enter the Tour in our top condition and then try to hold on."
The prologue aside, the first week of this yera's Tour will suit bigger, stronger riders in the mould of both Dean and Farrar, and while the overall contenders will be aiming to survive on the cobbles of stage three, Garmin-Transitions' duo will be looking to thrive.
"First of all we will target stage wins for Tyler. We will start with the objective of winning the green jersey but so many factors come into that for the team and for Tyler to get to the finish," said Dean.
To get to the finish and be in contention for the maillot vert, Farrar has to make it through a tough final week that presents very different challenges to the opening week - namely, the Pyrenees. Dean knows that despite finishing five Tours, it's never an easy task.
"The last week is always hard because you start to question yourself. People say, 'You've done a few Tours now, so you must know what to do'. But you always question yourself if you have done things right or you could have done things better."
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