Bobby Julich

Aug 12, 2010
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I wonder if Bobby Julich was contacted by investigators in the federal investigation about Lance. He was on Motorola with Lance in the mid 1990's as well as Telekom in 2002/2003. He would be an interesting source to speak with about doping. Bobby was always a favourite rider of mine. The naive side of me would love to believe that "Bobby seems like such a nice guy", so he wouldn't dope. The reality may of course be different...
 
pleyser said:
I wonder if Bobby Julich was contacted by investigators in the federal investigation about Lance. He was on Motorola with Lance in the mid 1990's as well as Telekom in 2002/2003. He would be an interesting source to speak with about doping. Bobby was always a favourite rider of mine. The naive side of me would love to believe that "Bobby seems like such a nice guy", so he wouldn't dope. The reality may of course be different...
They were together for a couple years at Motorola in '95 and '96. Sometime in there Bobby had heart surgery and LA had that cancer thing so I'm not sure how much time they actually spent together. Was Bobby clean? Well he sure had one hell of a year in 2005 while under the tutelage of Riis. Probably a coincidence I'm sure. I do agree that nice guys rarely dope, I still believe TH was clean.
 
Animal said:
1998 was his extra terrestrial year wasn't it?
That was the year he was on the podium at the TDF, then again there may have only been 3 rider left at the end of that tour, not really but the count was low. That may have been the year Casagrande was sacked.
 

jimmypop

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Jul 16, 2010
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Julich had some stellar TT performances near the end of his career. They were highlighting his biopace-like chainrings all the time without prompting. Totally subjective, but just like highlighting Armstrong's cadence and TT position, such diversions scream "doper" to me.
 
JRTinMA said:
That was the year he was on the podium at the TDF, then again there may have only been 3 rider left at the end of that tour, not really but the count was low. That may have been the year Casagrande was sacked.
The Cofidis team of the 1998 Tour was kind of embarrassing in retrospect. Aside from Julich being 3rd, they also had Rinero 4th (+KoM) and Roland Meier 7th. Granted, many people withdrew, but still. Had he not crashed, Casagrande would probably have kept up with Pantani in the mountains and everyone else would have been slain.

Julich had talent, make no mistake, and he had a logical evolution from 1995 to 1998, improving steadily from his '95 and '96 Vueltas through the '97 Tour (top 20 and a very good performance in the final week). Considering how weak the field ended up being in 1998 after everyone packed up and left, Julich's completely unspectacular 3rd was within the realm of possibility. But Cofidis was superjuiced.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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flicker said:
Taking a chance here of being stepped upon here, but why not let sleeping dogs lie.
I agree with you Flick if only because this subject will probably get touched on by USADA at some point.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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flicker said:
Taking a chance here of being stepped upon here, but why not let sleeping dogs lie.
Well we're hardly being fair to your pal Lance if we talk about Bobby J in The Clinic without discussing his own use of PEDs. Sure, his progression to the TDF podium was gradual and not overnight, but it was still happening in the supercharged 1990s. And no matter how many teams left the 1998 race nobody really thinks the ones who remained were drug-free do they? Then his later successes with CSC... come on. Too easy to say those Spaniards and Italians and mullet-haired Russians are dopers but not our nice, well-spoken homeboys.
 
pedaling squares said:
Well we're hardly being fair to your pal Lance if we talk about Bobby J in The Clinic without discussing his own use of PEDs. Sure, his progression to the TDF podium was gradual and not overnight, but it was still happening in the supercharged 1990s. And no matter how many teams left the 1998 race nobody really thinks the ones who remained were drug-free do they? Then his later successes with CSC... come on. Too easy to say those Spaniards and Italians and mullet-haired Russians are dopers but not our nice, well-spoken homeboys.
Talking about that era, and about a GC contender, I feel that "clean" vs "dirty" dichotomy is not very useful. I prefer "doped with a normal program" vs "doped and became an unleashed mutant force like Dufaux at the 1998 Romandie". I think Cofidis as a whole were in the second category.
 
Quite simple really, according to Philipe Gaumont, everyone at Cofidis doped to the gills except David Moncoutie and Janek Tombak.

Julich goes to another French team Credit Agricole who are reputedly clean and his performances drop right of, then joins CSC and he improves again. J-O-I-N the dots.

One thing, Julich was a far more talented stage racer than Armstrong when they were younger.
 

flicker

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Aug 17, 2009
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pedaling squares said:
Well we're hardly being fair to your pal Lance if we talk about Bobby J in The Clinic without discussing his own use of PEDs. Sure, his progression to the TDF podium was gradual and not overnight, but it was still happening in the supercharged 1990s. And no matter how many teams left the 1998 race nobody really thinks the ones who remained were drug-free do they? Then his later successes with CSC... come on. Too easy to say those Spaniards and Italians and mullet-haired Russians are dopers but not our nice, well-spoken homeboys.
The group foto of the Motorola managers in the Graham Watson scrapbook are quite impressive. I know what you mean about CSC I would say go after them for the simple fact that they were an American sponsor.

More witch hunting I would guess.
 
pleyser said:
The naive side of me would love to believe that "Bobby seems like such a nice guy", so he wouldn't dope. The reality may of course be different...
Tyler Hamilton is probably an even nicer guy. Roberto Heras a real nice guy too. DiLuca was donating some of his winnings and trying to get support for the Abruzza earthquake victims.

Agree with Hrotha's other posts. It was 1998, the height of the EPO era. Willy Voet pointed out there were little more than a handful of riders who weren't doping at that time. It's ugly, but the way it was. The "guilty" are those who were truly jacked up to their eyeballs, such as his own Festina team at Romandie.

As far as FDA/USADA goes, I don't know that Bobby had enough direct contact with LA. Anything he says to investigators is likely to simply be general comments about cycling's dark years.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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IIRC, the '99 TdSuisse saw Meier putting the pain to the group on the climbs. 'Twas super-human, for sure.

Bobby J.? He is trying to hide in a turtle shell, also for sure.
hrotha said:
The Cofidis team of the 1998 Tour was kind of embarrassing in retrospect. Aside from Julich being 3rd, they also had Rinero 4th (+KoM) and Roland Meier 7th. Granted, many people withdrew, but still. Had he not crashed, Casagrande would probably have kept up with Pantani in the mountains and everyone else would have been slain.

Julich had talent, make no mistake, and he had a logical evolution from 1995 to 1998, improving steadily from his '95 and '96 Vueltas through the '97 Tour (top 20 and a very good performance in the final week). Considering how weak the field ended up being in 1998 after everyone packed up and left, Julich's completely unspectacular 3rd was within the realm of possibility. But Cofidis was superjuiced.
 
Jan 5, 2010
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pmcg76 said:
Julich goes to another French team Credit Agricole who are reputedly clean and his performances drop right of, then joins CSC and he improves again. J-O-I-N the dots.

One thing, Julich was a far more talented stage racer than Armstrong when they were younger.
If I am not mistaken, in 1999 Julich was uber strong and flying in what I think was the prologe. He went down hard and had to abandon. His time was faster than Armstrong's. I always wondered "what if?" Doping aside, maybe it would have been Julich with a hand full of Tour titles. I think most fans back then would agree that given the bad blood between Armstrong and Julich, once Armstrong was on top, there was no way he was going to let another American get a fair shot. Especially Julich! Clean or not, he was fun to watch.
 
Unfortunately you're mistaken. Julich was 22nd in the prologue and 14th at the last time check before he crashed in the TT.

As for Festina for all the mentions of 1998 Romandie there was always someone better in the big races (Once, Telekom, Mercatone Uno) so they probably weren't the biggest offenders at the time.
 
miloman said:
If I am not mistaken, in 1999 Julich was uber strong and flying in what I think was the prologe. He went down hard and had to abandon. His time was faster than Armstrong's. I always wondered "what if?" Doping aside, maybe it would have been Julich with a hand full of Tour titles. I think most fans back then would agree that given the bad blood between Armstrong and Julich, once Armstrong was on top, there was no way he was going to let another American get a fair shot. Especially Julich! Clean or not, he was fun to watch.
I have never heard anything in particular with LA and Julich. I know LA hated when people left him post 1999 and he went out of his way to be a *** but what was his issue with Julich? Between ablasion surgery for BJ and LA going out with cancer its not like they were together all that long. What was the issue?

I think you are thinking Dave Zabriskie in the TTT when he was in yellow maybe, BJ was not going to pass LA.
 
roundabout said:
Unfortunately you're mistaken. Julich was 22nd in the prologue and 14th at the last time check before he crashed in the TT.

As for Festina for all the mentions of 1998 Romandie there was always someone better in the big races (Once, Telekom, Mercatone Uno) so they probably weren't the biggest offenders at the time.
The thing is, Festina didn't have an absolutely top-class rider to win GTs until they signed Zülle in 1998. Virenque was a very good climber, but until 1997 or so he lost a lot in the time trials. Few people thought he could improve on his 1997 podium, and that was before we knew just how juiced he was. Dufaux was a decent time-trialer, but he didn't climb as well as Virenque. Riis's program was probably superior in 1996 because he apparently wanted to die or something, but in subsequent years Festina was the most powerful team. They just lacked someone to win.

Zülle should have been that someone. However, in the 1998 Giro they went to such ridiculous lengths with their program that it backfired in the last week. I read somewhere that Zülle wanted the same Dufaux tried at Romandie, but a week-long race is not the same as a three-week race.

I have no doubts that Festina would still have been the strongest team at the 1998 Tour, and at least one of Virenque, Dufaux and Zülle would have been on the podium. And if Zülle hadn't already done the Giro I'd say he could well have won the Tour. But Virenque and Dufaux weren't Pantani and Ullrich. Their program was pretty ridiculous though, it's up there in the list of team-wide doping's greatest hits together with Gewiss, the good times of Mapei, ONCE from 1995 on, US Postal/Discovery or Saunier Duval (edit: or Casino!)
 
All very fair points, however

The problem for Virenque was that he couldn't drop Ullrich in the mountains in 1997. I think Ullrich dropped him in Andorra and on the Alpe(?) yet IIRC they arrived together in all other mountain stages. On the subjective scale of dirtiness a rider who's specialty is in the mountains would seem cleaner than a man who finished 3rd in the Worlds TT as a neo (not taking anything away from Ullrich's climbing ability).

Giro 1998 was pretty revealing. I remember at the time that i did not expect Zülle to drop everyone to Lago Laceno nor did i expect him to almost catch Pantani in the first real MTF as Pantani seemed stronger on the previous stages. Was it a sign of a better program? I don't really know. Thing is 2 days after winning the TT Zülle lost all of his 4 minute lead in the first big mountain stage. Seemingly they didn't have the program dialed in for 3 weeks while Mercatone were busy doing the lime and yellow version of US Postal in the final week (Konyshev's pace setting dropped Zülle on the stage where Zülle completely cracked). Guess my whole point is that Festina weren't prepared enough to last the 3 weeks.

Apologies, if this is OT
 
Jan 5, 2010
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roundabout said:
Unfortunately you're mistaken. Julich was 22nd in the prologue and 14th at the last time check before he crashed in the TT.

As for Festina for all the mentions of 1998 Romandie there was always someone better in the big races (Once, Telekom, Mercatone Uno) so they probably weren't the biggest offenders at the time.
I will go back and view my "tape" yes video tape, I still have a VCR and see for sure. However, I'm pretty sure it was a prolog and Phil and Paul were commneting that it was one of the fastest times. I'll let you know. Maybe someone else has it handy. And I believe the friction between Lance and Bobby goes back to when they were both amatures and invited back to Colorado Springs and Julich was picked over Lance for a place on the team. Does someone else remember the story?
 
Prologue TdF 1998 - 5.6km Dulbin
1. Chris Boardman 0.06:12
2. Abraham Olano Manzano +0.00:04
3. Laurent Jalabert +0.00:05
4. Bobby Julich +0.00:05
5. Christophe Moreau +0.00:05
6. Jan Ullrich +0.00:05
7. Alex Zülle +0.00:07
8. Laurent Dufaux +0.00:09
9. Andrei Tchmil +0.00:10
10. Viatcheslav Ekimov +0.00:11
 
Mar 17, 2009
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roundabout said:
All very fair points, however

The problem for Virenque was that he couldn't drop Ullrich in the mountains in 1997. I think Ullrich dropped him in Andorra and on the Alpe(?) yet IIRC they arrived together in all other mountain stages. On the subjective scale of dirtiness a rider who's specialty is in the mountains would seem cleaner than a man who finished 3rd in the Worlds TT as a neo (not taking anything away from Ullrich's climbing ability).
You are also referring to a guy who won the Amateur WC on the same course in Oslo that Armstrong won on.
 
May 13, 2009
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hrotha said:
The thing is, Festina didn't have an absolutely top-class rider to win GTs until they signed Zülle in 1998. Virenque was a very good climber, but until 1997 or so he lost a lot in the time trials. Few people thought he could improve on his 1997 podium, and that was before we knew just how juiced he was. Dufaux was a decent time-trialer, but he didn't climb as well as Virenque. Riis's program was probably superior in 1996 because he apparently wanted to die or something, but in subsequent years Festina was the most powerful team. They just lacked someone to win.

Zülle should have been that someone. However, in the 1998 Giro they went to such ridiculous lengths with their program that it backfired in the last week. I read somewhere that Zülle wanted the same Dufaux tried at Romandie, but a week-long race is not the same as a three-week race.

I have no doubts that Festina would still have been the strongest team at the 1998 Tour, and at least one of Virenque, Dufaux and Zülle would have been on the podium. And if Zülle hadn't already done the Giro I'd say he could well have won the Tour. But Virenque and Dufaux weren't Pantani and Ullrich. Their program was pretty ridiculous though, it's up there in the list of team-wide doping's greatest hits together with Gewiss, the good times of Mapei, ONCE from 1995 on, US Postal/Discovery or Saunier Duval (edit: or Casino!)
Before Zulle hit the wall at the Giro he had some insane performances: he averaged 54 kmh on a flat tt which included a climb. I remember he used a 54 x 11 gear for almost the whole ride. He also climbed head to head with Pantani, until the last week.
 

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