Results tagged “Bobby Julich” from spare cycles

Thanks Bobby

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Bobby Julich - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

It's sad to see a generation of cyclists retiring, especially one that helped bring American cycling to greater prominence on the international stage. The US PRO championships highlighted the huge pool of young talent in American cycling and certainly many owe a bit of thanks to Bobby J.

VeloNews: Bobby Julich Retires

Another rider front page

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bobbyjulich.com.jpg

It's a bit of a thrill to see your photos used in the design of riders you follow. I can now add Bobby Julich's site to the list of rider sites that have one of my photos on banner rotation. (Thanks Brent)

Prologue Videos

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Just in case Versus didn't give you enough coverage, I've posted some videos from the finishing stretch of various riders: Julich, Hincapie, Hushovd, Rogers, Fast Freddie.

NOTE: Video shot by offtopicartistan, with the camera on loan from parakkum. I apologize for my CSC hat blocking the video from time to time.

ToG Prologue: Gusev wins rainy opener

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AP Photo/Martin MeissnerDiscovery Channel's Vladamir Gusev barely held of Linus Gerdemann and Sebastian Lang to take the opener to the Tour of Germany. I haven't had a chance to watch but I'm hoping to catch some highlights with my cycling.tv subscription as it sounds like a darky and stormy prologue, much like the final TT in the Tour of Switzerland this year.

I don't know what's up with Levi's TT abilities: he finished 111th in the prologue, 42 seconds behind. Vino faired much better, finishing in 10th place, 9 seconds behind. I don't know who will be leading CSC, but Bobby J is racing again, which is great considering how badly his forearms were injured.

Photo by AP Photo/Martin Meissner

Cycling News Tour of Germany Prologue Results

Stage 7: Saint-Gregoire - Rennes, ITT

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AP Photo/Christian HartmannTime-trial specialist Sergei Gontchar/Gonchar/Honchar dominated today's time trial and took the yellow jersey with a time of 1:01:43. This was the last chance for the time trial specialists to slip into the yellow jersey, and of that crowd -- Zabriskie, Rogers, Karpets, and Gontchar -- it was Gontchar who annihilated the rest of the field by a minute over the next best time. This was a T-Mobile day: 1st, 4th, 6th, and 8th. Who needs Ullrich? Or, rather, in the words of Johan Bruyneel, "It's lucky Jan Ullrich is not here, otherwise the Tour would be over."

Photo by AP Photo/Christian Hartmann

It was a surprisingly poor showing by the American riders, who were expected to dominate. Bobby J had it worst, crashing early on, sliding over a curb, and appearing to injure his arm. Levi had a terrible showing, losing a minute and a half by the first time check and six minutes overall with a time of 1:07:49. Hincapie did poorly as well with a time of 1:04:25, which was 30 seconds slower than Savoldelli -- we may see Savoldelli become Discovery's protected man in the mountains. My main pick, Zabriskie, had a respectable 1:03:40, but for those of us who thought he'd light the course of fire, it was a disappointment.

There was one bright light among the Americans: Landis is certainly the American to beat and has vaulted himself to the top of the overall contenders. Landis finished in second with a time of 1:02:44, which he did while apparently having to switch his bike on the course either due to a flat tire or to his bars slipping -- the UCI apparently ordered Landis to lower his bars just prior to the race. If Landis's mechanic can just get these mechanical issues under control, Landis should easily finish on the podium. Then again, his legs appeared to disappear in the mountains in the Dauphine, so I should wait until the first mountain stage.

Big Losers: Discovery (no riders in the top ten overall anymore), CSC (now have lost Basso and Julich, Zabriskie only managed 10th, O'Grady is still hurting, and Voigt isn't looking very strong after finishing in last place), Leipheimer

Big Winners: T-Mobile, which now has four riders in the top ten including Kloden; Cadel Evans and Denis Menchov, whose chances in the overall just got a whole lot better with strong top ten finishes today. Christophe Moreau also looks primed for a top five finish if he can hold in the mountains.

Prediction check:

  • My predictions: Zabriskie, Landis, Hincapie, Julich, Rogers, Levi
  • Actual: Landis was second, Rogers was fourth instead of fifth, scratch the rest of the picks.

Podium-1-4There's been no lack of Americans in the cycling spotlight post-Lance. Levi, Hincapie, and Landis put in great Tour of California performances. Landis took the Paris-Nice overall and Julich took the prologue. It would have been nice to see Horner, Danielson and Zabriskie get some early spotlght, but the main event is still months away.

I thought I'd take an early stab at making some predictions for the Tour de France. "Predict early, predict often." That way I get more chances to pretend I was right. Fat Cyclist went bolder and did a full set of early predictions for the Tour. I'm just going to focus on the Americans because everyone in America is holding their breath to see if the post-Armstrongians can hold the fort for American cycling.

The gist of my predictions: I don't expect to see any American at the top of that podium in Paris this year. I expect to see many strong performances and stage wins, but we will probably have to wait a couple years. This is hardly a bold prediction. I'll be a little more risky and say that I think you'll see Zabriskie, Julich, and Landis all in yellow jerseys this year. Zabriskie because he's fast. Julich because this is one of his last chances to get one. Landis because his combined time trial and mountain climbing ability gives him a good chance of getting one.

There's more specifics if you'd like to read on

Bobby Julich Warming UpBobby Julich looked on fire again when he won the Paris-Nice prologue wearing the #1 for his victory last year (OLN video clips from the prologue). From his interviews, it seems though that he didn't want to come out of the blocks as hot as he did last year (Paris-Nice, Criterium International and Tour of the Benelux wins) and instead is focusing on hitting the sweet spot of his form come Giro time in order to pull Basso over the mountains.

Julich quickly lost his lead to Boonen, who is on fire this year with his World Champion stripes on and has taken a hat-trick of victories at Paris-Nice so far. Boonen lost his lead to Landis, who is having the season that Julich did last year. Landis pulled Patxi Xabier all the way to the finish line of stage 3 and was poached for the victory, but he got the overall lead that he was looking for. After winning the Tour of California, Landis is now in position to win Paris-Nice, assuming he can hold off any final charges in the mountains. Much like the Tour of California, there are no mountiantop finishes, but Landis' Phonak team is also still having trouble staying close to Landis and protect him. I'm looking forward to OLN's coverage on the 12th and 13th to see how this all turns out.

Julich doesn't seem too disappointed to be out of contention at Paris-Nice, but his CSC teammates aren't doing so well. Four CSC riders have crashed out of races this week: Vande Velde (shoulder), Breschel (two broken vertebrae), O'Grady (broken collarbone and five ribs), and Bak. It looks like we may have to wait until a little later in the season to see CSC blowing up the scoreboard.

Update: neglected to include Lars Bak's crash at Tirreno-Adriatico that also took out Bettini.

Update 2: Bobby Julich crashed in stage 6 of Paris-Nice and didn't start the final day. Zabriskie also abandoned after complaining of pain in his achilles tendon. Sounds like the CSC infirmary is full this week. At least Cancellara pulled off a time trial victory at Tirreno-Adriatico.

Stage 3 autograph hunting

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Before stage 3 I managed to collect some more autographs -- Julich, Landis, Zabriskie, O'Grady, Vande Velde and Voigt -- by biking over to the CSC and Phonak team cars just as they were arriving (autographed photos are in the extended entry). The only photo that wasn't my own turned out to be a terrible mistake, but one that Jens Voigt handled gracefully. All of my photos of Voigt were blurry, so I chose one from the Cervelo site, which had a nice, high quality photo labelled 'Jens Voigt.' Apparently Voigt was used to this photo because after saying, "this is so stupid," (hopefully referring to the Cervelo Web site admins) Jens nicely pointed out the 'S' on the bike (for 'Nicki Sorensen' I believe).

d asked me why I was such an autograph hunter and I gave some answer that I don't fully remember anymore, but no longer agree with. For photos and backpacks at least I think it's a chance to bind an object to a specific memory. An autograph is like a photo to me, which must make my autographs in the extended entry photos2. I don't have terrible recall for memories, so if I can get Dave Zabriskie to autograph my backpack at the SFGP so that I can glance at it and remember our adventures sneaking Jill into the CSC VIP tent on a day of fun at the SFGP, I will. Then I'll take my camera and get a shot of flowers growing out of Bjarne Riis' head and my day will be complete.

Tour of California: Stage 3

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Landis Warming Up-1 Landis Approaching the Finish Line-1 Landis, Julich, Zabriskie, Tour of California Podium

The stage 3 time trial was a thrill. Fabian Cancellara, Vladimir Gusev, and Nathan O'Neill set the big times on the day before the final flight of main contenders. O'Neill was the one who showed that the 37-minute barrier could be broken with his time of 36:55. These times were a lot slower than expected, which can be attributed to a big headwind and yesterday's grueling Sierra Road climb.

Jens Voigt Approaching the First Climb-1 Vladimir Gusev Near the Finish-1 Stage 3-01

The first of the main contenders to get things roarding was Dave Zabriskie, who got the crowd charged as the announcer shouted out that DZ had the fastest time by 31 seconds. With that margin I thought for sure that my pick for the stage winner (DZ, of course) was solid, but then Floyd Landis came screaming in 26 seconds faster -- the first (and only) run to break the 36-minute barrier. Landis' margin was so big that the remaining contenders were losing with 1km to go: Julich, Leipheimer, Hincapie. Julich was following the curb so close that I didn't even see him until the last second, but those extra road savings weren't enough. Hincapie had a huge press fleet of cars following him, but nothing ahead to stop the wind.

Chris Horner nears the finish-1 Hincapie on final approach-1

Floyd Landis' 29-second lead in the overall is large enough that his fellow riders don't seem to think there is much chance left as there remaining stages aren't challenging enough to produce big gaps. Landis has looked strong in every stage so far, so even on a tough stage it seems doubtful that he'd be caught out. The only chance I see is taking advantage of the weaker Phonak team. A lack of teammates cost Leipheimer on stage 2. CSC or Discovery could use their deep rosters to really challenge Landis much like Discovery did in the Tour de Georgia when they launched Danielson to victory. At the very least, CSC needs some sort of victory to take away from this inaugural event: Gerolsteiner, Discovery, and Phonak already have had their stage wins and leader's jerseys.

Ekimov isn't competing for the overall, but I like this photo enough that I'm just going to paste it here:

Ekimov nears the finish-1

Read on for a photo summary of my day at Stage 3.

Tour of California: San Francisco Prologue

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Levi Leipheimer Tour of California Levi Leipheimer Post-Race Tour of California

Coit TowerThe prologue was so much fun to watch. We got a great spot on the final bend going to the finish line and go to see all of the pros warming up. Jackson Stewart's opening time of 5'38" made us wonder how long it would be before the magical five-minute-barrier would be broken. Discovery's Old Man Ekimov was the first to really start pushing the barrier by setting a time of 5'14" for the rest of his teammates to follow. Ekimov's time didn't last very long, but it was Tour-de-France-Prologue-Winner Fabian Cancellara who really set the next standard with an impressive 5'03". Discovery's Jason McCartney quickly followed up with a slightly slower 5'03" and it seemed that the five-minute barrier could be breached at any moment.

Ekimov 2 Jason McCartney

We had to wait quite a bit of time. It seemed that the major teams sent some of their fast men (Ekimov, Cancellara) early to set a good pace for the rest of the team, but the middle part of the race was filled with 5'10"s. The most exciting event of the middle part was when Olivier Kaisen came around the bend. The riders started at one minute intervals and every time a rider approached the crowd would begin to cheer. You could use the gap between cheers to estimate how fast a rider had gone through the course. As Kaisen started to pass, a second, louder cheer started coming from just around the bend. Discovery's young hope Tom Danielson came zooming around the corner and passed Kaisen at the finish line:

Tom Danielson Danielson's Pass-2 Danielson's Pass-3 Danielson's Pass-4 Danielson's Pass-5

We settled back down again for awhile until we heard the news that Bobby Julich was on the course. The roar from around the bend as Julich approached was awesome and his time earned every bit of it: 4'58.19. I keep telling myself that my Bobby J and Cancellara photos are so blurry because they were so much faster.

Bobby Julich

The final part of the race was big rider after big rider also trying to break the five-minute barrier and Julich's time. Giro di Italia champion Paolo Savoldelli (5'04.83), Floyd Landis (4'59.55), Dave Zabriskie (5'02), Cadel Evans (5'05), George Hincapie (4'59.11). (update: in the prologue video, you can see Zabriskie having shifting problems at the start of the Coit Tower ascent, which certainly cost him valuable time).

Paolo Savoldelli Floyd Landis Cadel Evans George Hincapie

Al and I started talking at this point after watching big name after big name fail to beat Julich's time. Simoni, Leipheimer, and Rogers were the only big riders left of note. I put my money on Levi as the only rider left that could beat Bobby J's, but I didn't really believe it.

Leipheimer Climbs to the FinishEven with big name after big name, the crowd roar for Levi can be called huge. Leipheimer came flying up the final leg (video), so much faster than we had seen anyone else finish. His final time of 4'53.43 clobbered everyone else's efforts, and neither Simoni nor Rogers were even close.

Stage links: * VeloNews Prologue Summary * Prologue Results * Graham Watson Prologue photos * Levi Leipheimer Prologue journal * Grassy Knoll Project Prologue Media

Photo sets: * Main contenders: Leipheimer, Landis, Savoldelli, Zabriskie, Julich, Hincapie, Horner, Voigt, Danielson, O'Grady, Evans, Simoni, and more. There's also a sequence of Tom Danielson passing the rider that started a minute in front of him. * Big riders warming up: Photos of Leipheimer, Landis, Savoldelli, Hincapie, Ekimov, Horner, and others testing the final climb to Coit Tower * More riders: Photos of Tony Cruz, Michael Barry, Nicolas Jalabert, Saul Raisin, Fabian Wegmann, Robbie Hunter, Christian Vande Velde, and more * Even more riders: Photos of riders I couldn't identify as I don't have the starting order for the prologue (anyone happen to have a copy?).

Stage profile (from official Amgen Tour of California site):

prologue profile