Reality bites thrice for Julich

2006 has been a another reality check for Bobby Julich, who found himself on the edge of doing...

2006 has been a another reality check for Bobby Julich, who found himself on the edge of doing totally the wrong thing earlier in the year and risking burning matches when he didn't need to. However, experience and intuition set things straight, and he tells Cyclingnews' Anthony Tan he's itching to race.

Minutes before I spoke with CSC's evergreen American Bobby Julich, the 34 year-old was having a fairly in-depth conversation with a representative from Oakley, one of his personal equipment sponsors. Phrases like, 'I need another set of M-Frames for the Giro and Tour' and 'the ones with black Iridium' were thrown around, indicative of someone very particular about the finer details.

"I mean, you're used to doing things the right way and when a guy like that is right here and can take care of a problem... " says Julich, his voice trailing off before explaining the reason behind his nitpicking: "In the time trial, there was something wrong with my glasses - I kept having to pull them up - and we found out they were a little uneven; of course, you don't have the right vision if they're tilted."

Compared to one year ago, Julich hasn't had the smoothest of starts to the '06 season. Since November last year, the plan was to skip races like Paris-Nice and Critérium International - events he won in 2005 - so he could be in top shape to aid Ivan Basso's quest to win both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France. "I wound up doin' them anyway when I had number one on my back, then I crashed in Paris-Nice and was totally out of that race and had number one on my back in Critérium Internationale and was hors delai [outside the time limit - ed.] for the first time in my career on the morning stage.

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