Page 15 - DLNnov2016-1012
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some interesting analysis of the tactics and rationale behind some of his
successful attacks – not just impulsive… and a story from an ex-colleague
at Credit Agricole about his last race with them, which sheds light on his
character. Before the race, Paris-Bourges, he said he didn’t have the legs
to do anything so he’d cover the early breaks, which he did for 25kms until
he just couldn’t follow the accelerations any more. And just after that point
a break went without anyone from CA which really ticked him off! To make it
worse, the CA riders just started to drop out. However, despite it being his
last race for CA, Jens didn’t just let it go. Later in the race he went with a
counter-attack, bridged up to the break and won the race. (Hopefully this
embarrassed his team-mates once they came out of the showers and heard
the result!)

I particularly empathised with Jens’ description of a TTT when he found
himself following Cancellara down a hill on a small road at 75kph - the problem
being that Fab was doing 80kph and he was losing ground and thinking “I
can’t go any faster! I don’t want to go any faster! I’m scared ****less!” By
the bottom of the descent he’d lost 50 metres but was still 50 metres
ahead of the rest of the team! And later, when Fab was putting in his final
60kph turn, from 3km to the last 600 metres hoping that he wouldn’t pull
off because he knew he wouldn’t be able to pull through at that speed! Later
in the book, he admits that while early in his career he was happy to bomb
down descents at 100kph, as he got older and crashes took their toll he was
OK on descents up to about 60kph but in the 60-80kph range he was really
out of his comfort zone and at anything over 80kph he just didn’t want to
be there. I can relate to that!

There are several interesting views of the story behind some notable events
– the (short) dispute with Bjarne Riis when he gifted a Giro d’Italia stage to
a breakaway companion because he didn’t feel right sprinting for the win after
sitting in all day; tension with the Schlecks when Leopard-Trek merged with
Johan Bruyneel’s Radioshack-Nissan – they didn’t like Jens comment that
they were “inviting the Devil in”. (To be fair, he goes on to say that, in fact,
Bruyneel turned out to be a good Directeur Sportif, although his attempt

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