PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
Disappointed at the start of ENECO Tour when rain prevented him challenging for the prologue time trial, Bobby Julich stormed to victory in the final time trial in Etten-Leur and with it clinched overall victory in this Belgo-Dutch ProTour event.
The American started the day 37 seconds down on leader Rik Verbrugghe, but quickly wiped out that deficit to leap from 12th overall to first. Second place in the time trial lifted Discovery Channel's Leif Hoste to third place overall, while Erik Dekker finished third on the day to lift himself up to second overall.
Perhaps more significant given all the recent changing-of-the-guard talk were the high finishes achieved by youngsters Thomas Dekker and Janez Brajkovic. The Slovene, in particular, has ridden very strongly in this race in support of his team-mates and looks an extremely good prospect.
The day, though, belonged to Julich and CSC. "I am extremely satisfied with this result because this is of course a ProTour event," he said. "I did the time trial at my own tempo because I was getting no time checks. I must have assessed things well, though, because I won, and the winner is always right. It was mostly flat and there was a lot of wind, which made it tough."
Julich now heads to the Tour of Germany. Meanwhile, his CSC team have announced the signing of Karsten Kroon from Rabobank. Team boss Bjarne Riis believes Kroon will prove a significant asset in one-day races and the Dane also thinks he can improve Kroon's ability on the climbs.
Stage 7, Etten-Leur time trial
1 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 26.3km in 31.14
2 Leif Hoste (Bel) Discovery Channel 0.37
3 Erik Dekker (Hol) Rabobank 0.45
4 Jan Hruska (Cze) Liberty Seguros 0.55
5 Jos Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Phonak 1.01
6 Thomas Dekker (Hol) Rabobank 1.05
7 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Discovery Channel 1.10
8 Bert Roesems (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 1.15
9 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Discovery Channel 1.23
10 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1.23
1 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 29.08.01
2 Erik Dekker (Hol) Rabobank 0.21
3 Leif Hoste (Bel) Discovery Channel 0.41
4 Thomas Dekker (Hol) Rabobank 0.54
5 Michael Blaudzun (Den) CSC 1.07
6 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Quick Step 1.16
7 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Liberty Seguros 1.22
8 Jurgen van den Broeck (Bel) Discovery Channel 1.28
9 Andreas Klier (Ger) T-Mobile 1.57
10 Sergei Ivanov (Rus) T-Mobile 2.12
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM