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Julich has nice ride to Nice

Bobby Julich obviously has an affinity for Nice, France.The professional cyclist and Glenwood Springs High School graduate has a home there and qualified for the 2004 U.S. Olympic team with last year’s third place finish in the Paris-Nice race.On Sunday, Julich improved on last year’s performance, becoming the first American to win the prestigious stage race.”I have never won a race of this stature,” Julich said on his Web site, bobbyjulich.com. “This is a huge result for me. When I looked at the names of the riders who’ve won this race, it’s a huge honor for me, but it hasn’t sunk in yet.”Some of the previous winners include Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Stephen Roche, Sean Kelly, Miguel Indurain and Laurent Jalabert.Not that Julich hasn’t had some impressive finishes prior to Sunday.He finished third in the 1998 Tour de France but battled injuries and had trouble with team chemistry in the years following the Tour podium finish.He wasn’t sure where his cycling career was headed, but joined Team CSC prior to last season. After hooking up with CSC, Julich regained some of his 1998 form and claimed the 2004 Athens Olympics bronze medal in the individual team time trial.”As soon as I joined CSC, I understood that was the team I was looking for since the beginning of my career,” Julich said Sunday in an article on cyclingnews.com.Julich took the overall lead in the seven-stage Paris-Nice Friday. The 764-mile race started in the Parisian suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux and ended at Nice on the Mediterranean coast.Julich finished with a time of 22 hours, 32 minutes, 13 seconds. He beat Alejandro Valverde, of Spain, by 10 seconds. Constantino Zaballa, also of Spain, was third, 19 seconds back. CSC teammate Jens Voigt was fourth.According to his Web site, Julich’s next race is the Milan-San Remo on Saturday.According to his Web site, Julich’s next race is the Milan-San Remo on Saturday.


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