Bobby Julich Interview
Thomas Valentinsen talks to Bobby Julich before the start of the 2004 Tour de France.
Roadcycling.com?s Thomas Valentinsen talks to Team CSC rider Bobby Julich about his move to Team CSC, the team?s chances in the 2004 Tour de France, and life after pro cycling. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Describe how and why you ended up riding for Team CSC?
I was very interested in the team from the beginning. Not only because of Tyler Hamilton, but I watched Bjarne get the best out of his riders. I was very curious, and now I?m very happy I was one of the last signings at the end of 2003, where I actually thought about ending my career after some disappointing seasons.
Was there any involvement with Tyler Hamilton and you signing with Team CSC?
No. We?ve had very minimal contact, as we?ve always been on different teams with different objectives.
You had a long fallow period before you joined CSC. What is the difference between Team CSC and the other teams that you have ridden for?
In general I think it?s the leadership of Bjarne (Riis), Kim (Andersen), Sean (Yates) and Alain (Gallopin). They?re installing confidence, and I?d been lacking confidence the last couple of years, so I seemed unprepared. Now the team has given me a lot more energy to focus on riding my bike.
What do you perceive to be Team CSC?s main strengths and limiters?
The main strength is teamwork. Bjarne has preached teamwork from the beginning as one of our most important values. I don?t really see any limits, as we have a strong team with a very diverse make up of guys. Perhaps we need a high level sprinter, but on the other hand the team has never focused on that.
What are Team CSC?s main goals in this year?s Tour de France?
The main goal is to get a rider on the podium. Tyler came close last year, and with Basso, Sastre, Jaksche, Voigt and myself able to go for the GC, we have a good a chance as everyone to get a rider on the podium. Second on the list is winning the team time trial, which I?ve tried before on Credit Agricole. It?s an amazing feeling, not only for the riders, but for the whole staff and sport group surrounding the team. It?ll be difficult to win three stages like the team did last year, but sometimes a stage victory comes along while pursuing other goals.
Describe your role in trying to obtain these goals.
I think my role on the team is very important. I?m one of the most experienced guys on the team, I?ve been on the podium, I?ve won the team time trial, so I know a lot of day-to-day tricks, little things here and there to help you save energy. I?m not putting any pressure on myself regarding the GC, cause first of all I?m there to help Basso and Sastre. Then we?ll see how the race develops.
You have been performing very well since your switch to Team CSC. However, you had one or two off days in this year?s Tour of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>