Bobby Julich joins Tinkoff-Saxo as head coach
Bobby Julich’s cycling career appears to have come full circle.
The Glenwood Springs High School graduate and top-three finisher at the 1998 Tour de France was named Monday as the head coach of the Tinkoff-Saxo cycling team out of Denmark.
Julich’s appointment as head coach of the team is one of four that was announced by the team in a press release that was distributed on Monday. The hiring included Daniel Healey taking over the newly created position of Head of Sports Science, and Sean Yates and Patxi Vila being named sports directors of the team.
“They are incredibly capable professionals, and I consider them an asset for any team as they come with tremendous motivation and great experience,” Team Manager Bjarne Riis said. “They will play an important role in our new and ambitious setup going into the next season, and this reflects our clear ambition to deliver results in 2015. They all have big theoretical and professional capacity and will be able to lift the level of our coaching and training.”
Julich in the press release said he is thrilled to work with Riis again as the two practically wrote the book on race coaching when the American first joined Team Saxo Bank in 2009 in the newly created position of race coach.
According to Julich, in the past, “The coach solely looked after the training and the program.” That approach was limited, and in his new position in Tinkoff-Saxo, Julich would like to implement what he called a “three-dimensional play.”
“My intention is to get involved deep in the life of the riders, not just with the training but with the life-skills advice, the tactical advice, recovery and nutrition. In this new system, I would like to be the person that looks after all the details,” Julich said.
Julich, who was a teammate of Lance Armstrong’s at Motorola and Cofidis between 1995 and 1997, posted on the Cycling News website in 2012 that he used EPO — a performance-enhancing substance that serves as a blood booster — and left his coaching job with London-based Team Sky because of it.
Julich said he used EPO “several times” between August 1996 and July 1998. He said his wife discovered his doping during the 1998 Tour de France when he finished a career-high third. At the time, he was just the second American to reach the podium of the race.
“Those days were very different from today, but it was not a decision that I reached easily,” Julich said. “I knew that it was wrong, but over those two years, the attitude surrounding the use of EPO in the peloton was so casual and accepted that I personally lost perspective of the gravity of the situation.”
Julich said he was not doping at the time of his third-place finish in the time trial at the 2004 Athens Olympics. In August of 2012, the IOC upgraded him from bronze to silver when American teammate Tyler Hamilton was stripped of his gold after he acknowledged doping.
Julich takes over as head coach of a program that has been wildly successful in recent years. Among the team members is 31-year-old Alberto Contrador of Spain, who won the Tour de France in 2007 and 2009.
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