Culture

PYSO, ep. 63: Julich reflects on mistakes, successes, and helping others

Bobby Julich woke up early before this episode was recorded, nervous about where the conversation on his life and career might lead.

In this special episode, co-host Bobby Julich becomes the hot-seat guest as Tejay van Garderen and Gus Morton pepper the Olympic medalist and Tour de France podium finisher about not only his career, but the decisions behind his actions, his regrets, and his most cherished moments.

After watching ESPN’s two-part LANCE documentary, van Garderen has questions for Julich about how the sport and society treated riders who doped, citing the depression and drug-related deaths of Marco Pantani and Frank Vandenbroucke.

Julich talks about his own involvement in doping, his now-wife’s prescient words about it decades ago, and his decisions to not only opt to race clean years ago, but to come clean to Team Sky years after, knowing that it would cost him his job.

Van Garderen and Morton are empathetic but probing in their frank conversation.

Van Garderen raced under Julich’s guidance at BMC and still considers him a mentor. The younger American says he regrets racing too cautiously in the past, and seeing success as a zero-sum game, and asks Julich if he feels the same about his career.

Julich also talks about his rare moments of zen on the bike, including one special instance during his Olympic time trial ride in Athens that netted him a silver medal.

And, at Morton’s prompting, Julich closes the episode by reading two diary entries from his 1998 journal before and during the Tour de France, where he ultimately finished third behind Pantani and Jan Ullrich.