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Podium Cafe Weekly Pro-File: Bobby Julich

CSC's Bobby Julich is the subject of this week's Pro-File.  Bobby was born in Corpus Christi Texas in 1971.  He became a household name in 1998 with a stunning 3rd place finish in the Tour de France behind Marco Pantani and Jan Ullrich.  Although 1998 may have been his breakthrough year in the public eye, he actually had been building a fine career at that point with a 9th overall in the 1996 Vuelta, a 17th in the 1997 TDF and a win in the '98 Crit International, following a drug suspension of Christophe Moreau.

Bobby's meteoric rise was followed by several years of poor form and results.  He broke into the Euro scene with Motorola (95-96) but then moved over to Cofidis (97-99), Credit Agricole (2000-2001) and then Telecom ('02-'03).  His career rebounded in 2004 when he joined Bjarne Riis at CSC.  In 2005 Bobby enjoyed his best season as a pro with wins in Crit Int'l, Paris-Nice and the Benelux tour.  

In 2003 while riding as a domestique for Jan Ullrich at Telekom, Bobby contemplated retirement after a lackluster season.  He decided to take a pay cut and join former teammate Andrea Peron at CSC and we as cycling fans are more the richer for it.  He was also reunited with former C-A teammate Jens Voight (Bobby and Jens won the 2004 Luk challenge two man time trial).  it is very clear to anyone who follows the sport that Bobby is a well respected member of the peleton and a great teammate and friend to CSC.

Bobby can best be described as a TT rider (bronze medal in 2004 Olympics..possible upgrade to silver, pending..) with strong climbing skills. In 1996 Bobby was treated for a condition known as Re-entrant Supraventricular Tachycardia (RSVT).  Essentially this can cause a very high resting heart rate (180-250 bpm).  This can be benign in most cases, however it is certainly a serious obstacle for a cyclist (I'm no doctor, but I certainly welcome anyone who can discuss the condition to jump in).  

I look forward to watching Bobby J support Sastre and Schleck through the Grand Tours this year and hope he find a little personal glory as well.  No one deserves it more.