Julich on track for return to Olympics | AspenTimes.com

Julich on track for return to Olympics

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

Bicyclist Bobby Julich, a Glenwood Springs High School alumnus, hopes to race at the 2008 Olympics in China. (Copyright: Shane Stokes/ Cyclingnews.com)

Juggling a busy family life and a professional cycling career isn’t easy, but Bobby Julich is doing his best to stay on top of both.

For one more year, at least.

The Glenwood Springs High School alum recently re-upped with Team CSC, signing a one-year deal with the team that saved him from early retirement back in 2004.

“I have decided to race one more season with the main goal of racing in the Olympics next year,” Julich said by e-mail. “Team CSC is the best team in the world for the third straight year.”

It’s been a busy summer for Julich, and the fall won’t be much of a lull for the longtime pro.

He finished up the 3-Länder Tour in Germany over the weekend. That, on the heels of a 13th-place overall finish at the Sept. 7-15 Tour of Poland and a fifth-place time trial finish at the Sept. 1-2 U.S. Pro Cycling Championships in Greenville, S.C.

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“The nationals went as expected,” wrote Julich, who turns 36 in November. “I was starting to feel better during the (mid-August) Tour of Germany, but then had to think about getting my family back to the States so that my daughter could start school on time. In hindsight, I should have done one more race to pimp out the form before the nationals, but it didn’t work out.”

And an even bigger stage awaits Julich at month’s end, as it was recently announced that he’s been selected to represent America in the Sept. 26-30 World Cycling Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.

“I’m excited because the USA will, for the first time in years, have a great team at the start,” he said. “That will be my last race of the year, and I am looking forward to getting back to my family and getting ready for the next year.”

Julich is one of three from Team CSC to represent the United States; he will be joined by Dave Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde. George Hincapie (Discovery Channel), Jason McCartney (Discovery), John Devine (Discovery), Tyler Farrar (Cofidis) and Danny Pate (Slipstream-Chipotle) are also on the American roster.

Julich started his professional career in 1992 and has raced in the Tour de France nine times, starting in 1997. In 1998, he placed third, becoming the second American ever to stand on the podium. He didn’t compete in the 2003 Tour and was left off the Team CSC roster for the 2007 Tour.

While few ever reach those heights, Julich would like nothing more than to cap his storied career with a trip to the 2008 Olympics in China. In the 2004 Olympics, Julich won an Olympic bronze medal in the time trial.

Rankings and tour performances throughout the 2007 and 2008 racing seasons factor heavily into USA Cycling’s selection of Olympic representatives, but a top-three finish in the World Cycling Championships can land riders automatic nomination for the five-rider men’s team.

That said, Julich’s looming trip to Germany could give a major boost to his case for a second straight Olympic trip.