Julich comes out of retirement for Riis Saxo Bank-IT Factory team
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Julich comes out of retirement for Riis Saxo Bank-IT Factory team

by Steve Jones at 3:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Bobby Julich's cycling career spanned for over a decade and a half - sixteen years to be exact. It was a sad day when he decided to hang up his cleats for good a mere two months ago. This significant event in American cycling was largely overshadowed by Lance Armstrong's comeback to the sport and more doping controversies from this year's Tour de France.

During his career Julich participated in the Tour de France nine times, his best finish being 3rd in 1998. At the time, that result made him only the second American rider to reach the podium in cycling's biggest event. Years later with his career fading, CSC team director Bjarne Riis took him on board and made Julich a believer again. That year (2004) Julich landed on the podium in the GP Eddy Merckx, won a stage at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, stood on the podium with 3rd overall at Paris-Nice, and capped the year off with a bronze medal in the time-trial at the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

In 2005 Julich's career hit an all-time high, taking the honors with an overall victory at Paris-Nice, followed up with a stage win and the overall at the Criterium International. Julich would go on to win a couple more races that year, staying competitive all the way thorough September.

In 2006 Julich would follow up his 2005 win at Paris-Nice with a win in the prologue earning the leaders jersey once again. Later that year a crash during stage 7 of Tour de France, an individual time-trial where he would normally shine, again proved to be his nemesis while in a leadership role at the worlds biggest race. His Tour bid for victory was met with the same fate back in the 1999 edition. After that incident, Julich relieved some pressure by taking on the role of a super-domestique until his retirement this past September.

Today Riis' Team Saxo Bank-IT Factory outfit announced Julich is making a return to the sport as their rider development manager. According to a team press release, Julich will take on a managing role with technical development, testing and time trial coaching as his main work objectives.

"I am extremely pleased and motivated to take on this new position with Riis Cycling. I knew that my urge to compete at the ProTour level as a rider was over in the middle of the season, but I also realized that I have much more to offer this great team and the sport of cycling. I will be trying to accomplish this objective from the other side of the barriers, but with the same passion and dedication I had during my racing career," said Julich.

Team Saxo Bank-IT Factory boss Bjarne Riis doesn’t think Julich will have any problem adjusting to his new job.

"It is a great privilege for us to be able to engage Bobby is this new function. He knows the team and the way we work better than most, but above all, he brings hands-on know-how, insight and great passion for the team and the sport in general. With Bobby's personality and competence we have found a perfect match in order to bring the team forward and to continue or quest to be the best in the world", commented Riis.

He will be heading to Denmark to begin his new post at the end of November.
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