New Zealand’s Julian Dean is the first confirmed rider in Garmin-Slipstream’s roster for next month’s Tour de France. Dean will act as lead-out man for Tyler Farrar, who is also expected to be announced in the squad’s lineup.
“He is the only rider to have beaten Mark Cavendish this year although it’s only been once from 15 sprints against him,” said Dean. “I was pretty confident of making the team for the Tour but it’s always good to get that call.”
Dean said his Garmin-Slipstream team is stronger than last year and is getting used to the team lead-out approach for sprinter Farrar, rather than the solo approach he had employed in his years with Crédit Agricole.
“The train system is probably better overall but it is more difficult because everyone in the train has to do their job perfectly,” said Dean. “If one does not do it right, then it wrecks the whole train. We worked hard on it during the Giro and it is getter better.
“As we always know with the Tour de France, anything can happen to anyone at anytime, so hopefully I will be able to take my chances if they present themselves."
This year’s Tour de France will be Dean’s fifth, his second since joining Garmin-Slipstream. Dean expects the winner in Monaco on July four to hold the race’s yellow jersey for an unusually long time, due to the layout of this year’s course.
“It is going to be quite strange,” he said. “Whoever wins the opening time trial, which is likely to be Fabian Cancellara in his current form, will likely hold it until we get into Andorra.”
Garmin-Slipstream is expected to announce its full Tour de France roster later today.