Speed Bumps On The Road To Italy

The Reno-Tahoe blog will occasionally feature entries from athletes sponsored by Reno-Tahoe, America’s Adventure Place. Bobby Julich, professional cyclist, trains in the Reno-Tahoe area and has been cycling since before he entered and won his first Race, the Red Zinger Mini Classic, at the age of 13. Highlights of his professional career include a third place podium finish in the 1998 Tour de France riding for Cofidis, a Bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and a victory in the week long Paris-Nice race in 2005 with Team CSC.

In the last six weeks, I have been through quite the gamut of experiences and emotions. After a great Winter of training in the Reno/Tahoe area, I had a brief training camp in Italy, followed by more training back home.

My first race of the year was the Amgen Tour of California, where I placed 3rd overall. I had a great time racing back in the States especially in a race of this caliber. It really elevates racing in America to a new level and one which I hope other American races will emulate.

Directly after the race I headed back to Europe to begin my Spring campaign, where I started off with a win in the prologue of Paris-Nice. This was a terrific victory for myself and the team, but a little unexpected as it was not one of my objectives for this year.
Although at my age, I will take any victories wherever and whenever they come ! Unfortunately, during the second to last stage of the race I crashed hard and cracking three of my ribs and forcing me to retire from the race.

In the week immediately following Paris-Nice, I my goal has been to recover and get some physical therapy and heal my wounds. However, the rest days and a mild training schedule was not very good preparation for my next race, the Criterium International, where I was the defending champion from the previous year. Although defending the title was not a personal objective of mine, it was for my team. My teammate, Ivan Basso, ended up winning the race, which was great for our team morale. Unfortunately, because of the effort that I had to make to help the team, I ended up getting a head cold. Just another speed bump in the road on my return to racing in Europe.

So, the season has barely begun and my real racing hasn’t even started yet! Right now, my first priority is to get better and start firing on all cylinders to be ready for the Tour of Italy in May.

Until the next time, keep the rubber side down and the wind at your back.

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