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By Andrew Hood
Bobby Julich, fresh off his dramatic victory in the Tour of Benelux, will ride for two more seasons with Team CSC.
Julich, 33, will ride through the 2006-07 seasons under the watchful eye of 1996 Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis, the team announced Monday.
“Bobby has turned out to be a real catch for us. Since he joined us his career has blossomed like I’ve never seen it before,” Riis said on the team’s web page. “He’s an all-round rider, who can achieve results throughout the entire season, and at the same time has the ability to inspire and help develop the other riders.”
Julich’s career was in tatters at the end of the 2003 season after two unhappy years with T-Mobile and was ready to retire when Riis offered him a lifeline. Julich, who finished third overall in the 1998 Tour, hadn’t won a race since 1997, but quickly found new inspiration riding for the balding Dane.
Julich won a time trial in the 2004 Tour of the Basque Country to mark his return to top form. He also took home a bronze medal in the Olympic time trial last summer in Athens.
This year, he’s been ever more productive, winning Paris-Nice, Criterium International, the LuK Challenge and Tour of Benelux last week after an impressive final time trial victory.
“My work with Bjarne and the rest of the team has definitely played the main part in me achieving these kinds of results this late in my career,” Julich said. “I really feel at home on the team, where I have the kind of conditions and support I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.”
LPR confirms another
LPR – the Italian-Swiss continental team – continues to round out its roster for 2006. Mikhaylo Khalilov, the Ukraine national champion, has extended his contract with the team for the coming season. Recent signings include Dario Pieri and contract extensions with Elio Aggiano and Dimitry Konishev.
Liberty’s early list for Vuelta
Three-time Vuelta champion Roberto Heras leads the line-up for Spanish team Liberty Seguros for the upcoming Vuelta a España (Aug. 27-Sept. 18). The team will finalize its nine-man team in the coming weeks, but has released a short-list of the final candidates for the season’s final grand tour.
Liberty Seguros for Vuelta
Igor González de Galdeano
Ángel Vicioso. Reserves; René Andrle
T-Mobile for Britain tour
Classics rider Steffan Wesemann is the star attraction as T-Mobile will be among the team lining up for the Tour of Britain (Aug. 30-Sept 4). The 2004 Tour of Flanders champion will be joined by Dutchmen Bas Giling and Bram Schmitz as well as Jan Ullrich training partner Tobias Steinhauser.
T-Mobile Team for the 2005 Tour of Britain
Eric Baumann Bas Giling