Julich crashes out of the Tour de France
The 2006 Tour de France is over for Bobby Julich.
What started out with great promise has ended in an ambulance along a French roadway with injuries resulting from a crash in today’s seventh stage.
The 1990 Glenwood Springs High School graduate started the 32.3-mile time trial in 21st place and was looking to move up in the overall standings with a good time.
Julich, who won a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympic time trial event, had his bicycle slip out from under him on a curve, sending him crashing hard into the pavement.
Julich’s sudden end is just another odd chapter in the 2006 Tour. The day before the Tour was to start, several riders were expelled from the race due to doping allegations. One ride was Julich’s teammate and Tour favorite Ivan Basso of Italy. With his departure, Julich took over as team leader of Team CSC. As the leader, and strong time trailer and climber, Julich was expected to be a contender in the overall standings.
This was Julich’s ninth Tour de France and the second one that ended with a crash. In 1999, the year after he placed third in the Tour (He’s one of only three Americans to ever make the podium at the Tour), he crashed. Once again, it was in an individual time trial that he crashed.
American Floyd Landis placed second in Stage 7 and is now in second place in the overall standings one minute behind Serhiy Honchar of the Ukraine, who won the time trial by 61 seconds.
It was an overall rough day for the Americans. Besides Julich crashing out, David Zabriske placed 13th 1:57 back, George Hincapie was 24th 2:42 back, Christian Van DeVelde was 3:14 behind in 30th, and possibly the most shocking finish was Levi Leipheimer’s 96th place 6:06 off the winner’s pace. He was expected to be one of the contenders for a podium finish.
Lance Armstrong retired after last year’s Tour. He won the previous seven Tours.
See Sunday’s Post Independent for more details on the Tour de France.
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