Julian Dean got pats on his back from his Garmin-Translations teammates as he talked to Cyclingnews outside the team bus in Brescia. He didn't win the sprint, but second place behind Andre Greipel was an excellent result after 18 days of hard racing at the Giro d'Italia.
Dean began his sprint early to try and anticipate Greipel during the fast downhill finish. The tactic didn't work perfectly because Greipel had the power to surge past Dean but "Kiwi Guy" wisely got in the German's slipstream and held on to take a deserved second place. Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Liquigas-Doimo) was third and Greg Henderson (Team Sky) was fourth.
"It would have been nice to win but I'm still happy with my Giro," Dean said to Cyclingnews.
"We did all the other sprints for Tyler (Farrar), and we got the results. I did one sprint for myself and got it pretty right. I did what I could."
The finish in Brescia was the last chance for the sprinter in this year's Giro d'Italia. The next two stages include the Passo del Mortirolo and the Passo di Gavia, while Sunday's final stage is a 15km individual time trial.
Dean did not want to miss out on a last chance for victory and so hit out early.
"It was pretty slow coming into Brescia until Sky took over. I decided to go early because Greipel is the kind of guy you don't want to leave in front of you until the last 50 metres because he's very explosive and you won't get him back."
"I chose the right tactic but he was just faster than me. It was good that he finally did one for himself. He deserved it," Dean added sportingly.