Dean's Tour de France woes

After a crash in the opening week of the Giro d'Italia resulted in a broken elbow for Credit Agricole rider Julian Dean, the New Zealander will now be forced to watch this year's Tour de France from the sidelines.

"Last year was my first year at the top of the world. I was labelled the best lead-out rider on the planet, and ever since then all I've thought about is riding the Tour again," he told the Dominion Post.

"It's so disappointing and the really sad thing for me is that the Tour de France is the only thing they [the general public] really know back in New Zealand. Last year was a big profile boost for me, and I would have been much more confident this year, maybe even won a stage," Dean added.

Following the crash, the 30 year-old had three plates inserted into his right arm, and is wearing a cast up to his shoulder. Although Dean's surgeon says he can resume training on the home trainer as early as next week, he is not expected to return to racing for at least another two months, with the Eneco Tour of Benelux ProTour event from August 3-10 likely to be one of his comeback races.

"When I broke my arm I was just coming into my first good period [of form]. If I do everything correctly, in three months' time I'll be back among the best in the world again," he said with optimism.

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