The USA's Bobby Julich finished the best season of his career with a slightly disappointing ride to place 11th in the elite men's time trial in Madrid, Spain. The 33-year-old won several major races this year, including overall victories at the Paris-Nice and Tour of Benelux, both UCI ProTour races, and the Criterium International, but he said the demands of a full season finally took its toll in September.
"I was going full gas in January and I just didn't have any gas left in the tank after a long season," a disappointed Julich said after the race. "Right now, it kind of stings. I wanted to go out on a high note and I wouldn't have even raced if I thought I was going to get 11th, but I have nothing to be ashamed of. It just proves I'm human and I do have limits."
Julich finished 1:45.37 seconds off the pace of Australia's Michael Rogers, who became the first rider to capture three consecutive elite men's world time trial titles, completing the 27.4-mile course in 53 minutes, 34.49 seconds.
Julich began his season with the GP d' Ouverture La Marseillaise in France on February 1, a traditionally early start for the pro peloton. "I'm normally pretty good in August, but September is pretty difficult for me when I start in January."
Most recently, Julich completed the Tour of Poland on September 18 in which he placed 11th overall after riding to a second-place finish in the final time trial stage. "Tour of Poland, I think, was a little bit too much. I went a little too deep there and I guess I just didn't have enough time to recover. This was about my 100th race of the season and I finished every single one of them, so I've got to look at the positive side and say that I made it through a long season and won some good races."
Julich is currently sixth overall in the inaugural UCI ProTour standings as one of four Americans in the top-ten and just 10 points out of second place.