June 30, 2006
Julich's ESPN diary launches
CSC's Bobby Julich, who finished 3rd in the scandal-plagued 1998 Tour (not last year as his local paper suggested), is writing a diary for ESPN.com during this year's Tour.
Its first edition is up, and focuses, of course, on Basso's withdrawal and what impact that's going to have on the team.
He says CSC briefly considered pulling out of the race, in the emotion of the moment, but that Special Operations training kicked in: “...it's also a reality, as on the battlefield, that when your leader goes down, you have to still accomplish your objective, that the roles may change but you still have a goal to accomplish.”
Personally, Julich says he believes Basso is innocent, that he's been targeted because of his extraordinary Giro performance, but that he's assumed guilty because of the ProTour and ASO regulations, which allow riders to be suspended if they're even under investigation.
The worst thing for me will be if, three or four days from now, Ivan goes down, gives his DNA, does whatever he needs to do to clear his name, and is cleared, but the Tour has already started without him. That really is the hard part for me.
In my opinion, if there is absolutely indisputable evidence that he's involved, then I'm sorry, but we have to accept that, and that would be the most disappointing thing in my career, that I would have to accept that a guy like Ivan was cheating.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like ESPN is giving Julich a standard URL where you can watch for updates, or even, heavens, a standard weblog with an RSS feed.
Thank you for staying on top of all the breaking news and keeping us up to date on the essentials. It's been a busy day and tomorrow promises to be just as busy! I feel like wearing a black armband on my ride tomorrow morning....
Posted by: Nancy Toby at Jun 30, 2006 7:33:24 PM
I was about to say the same thing as Nancy, but she took the words out of my mouth. Keep up the good work Frank! How many hits you think you'll be getting this July? I know I've been hitting refresh all day long!
Posted by: Eric at Jun 30, 2006 8:28:56 PM
If you want an RSS feed of all Bobby Julich related content on ESPN.com, you can use their site search for Bobby Julich and subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted by: Brent at Jun 30, 2006 10:39:19 PM
Sadly "giving DNA" isn't going to clear him. It's such a far-reaching scandal that no amount of drug testing at this point'll be enough to clear someone.
Posted by: David Schloss at Jul 1, 2006 7:09:52 AM
The race is and has been a joke. It's probably accurate to say that all riders have been in previous years and are this year on performance-enhancing substances. Bike racing is like professional wrestling and bodybuilding in that it's filled with drugs. The difference is that bodybuilders and wrestlers admit it.
Posted by: joke at Jul 1, 2006 8:00:24 AM