Bobby Julich to end his 15-year long professional career at Team CSC Saxo Bank.
The 36-year old American rider has been with the team since 2004 is now retiring and looking ahead to a possible future within the sport.
"I have had a long career as a professional cyclist and it has been an honour to be part of a team like Team CSC Saxo Bank for the last five years. I remember the day after meeting my team and team mates for the first time, making a phone call to my wife telling her that this is the team that I have been searching for my whole career and where I would end my career. Years later, that turned out to be quite a prophetic statement because now is time to make that decision and move on to the next phase of my life", says Bobby Julich who saw a new part of his career unfold when he came to the team in 2004.
With an Olympic Bronze Medal in 2004, a strong winning streak in 2005 (including Paris-Nice, Criterium International, Eneco Tour), Julich completely revitalized the latter part of his professional career that previously had shown a podium finish in the Tour and consistent results in the biggest races on the calendar.
"Being on such a great team for so long, I know what it takes to be at the top level of this sport and realize that mentally I am not able to make the sacrifices that it takes to be there anymore.
I have seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows during my career, but every moment has taught me many things and made me into the person that I am today.
I hope to stay connected to the world of cycling because it has been my life and passion for 25 years, but I am also keeping my options open. To continue to work for Bjarne and the team in some way would be great and I would love it if that opportunity presented itself. The hardest part of leaving the crazy world of professional cycling will be having less contact with my team mates. The friendships that I have created here are hopefully life long, but I will miss the fun that we have together on the road. I would like to use this opportunity to say thanks to CSC, Saxo Bank and all my past sponsors for showing a kid from a small mountain town in Colorado the world, its people and the wonderful world of cycling. Thanks also to all the fans and my supporters who have cheered me along all these years and hope to see you out on the weekend rides or bike paths", Julich continues.
Team owner Bjarne Riis echoes Julich's words, empathizing that he is keen to offer Julich an important position in the team after his career as a rider.
"Bobby has been one of the true cornerstones of the team from the day he joined us. A great athlete, a profound and intelligent guy and the perfect team mate. We have been extremely proud of and very happy about being part of the second life of Bobby's career when he came to the team. He has been more than just a classy rider producing great results, but also a real mentor and a solid role model for our younger riders", says Bjarne Riis.
"When Bobby and I talked about his future, I realized that the best thing I could do for him was to give him the time and liberty to consider and figure out what he wanted to do after stepping off the bike - instead of forcing him to race a full programme for the rest of the season. I have the utmost respect for Bobby as a rider and as a person, and I would be honoured if he would consider being part of the team in another role in the future", Riis continues.
Photo by CorVos