Julien Bernard joined the team as a stagiaire in 2015 and confirmed his talent and place in the team with an unexpected leadership role and a 10th place finish at the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado. He was signed to a two-year contract and 2017 will be his second year with Trek-Segafredo.
Despite his pedigree - his father is the renowned cyclist Jean-François Bernard - Julien had humble beginnings. He was initially dissuaded from cycling by his father and, in a similar path to many European lads, competed in football (soccer). That is, until one Sunday at age 16 frustrated with the lack of opportunity, he abruptly quit and picked up the bike. One week later he entered his first race. His initiation was rough - he had some catching up to do with his peers who had years’ head starts - but he had a voracious hunger to his advantage.
Undeterred by his slow progression in the first years, Julien refused to listen when people said he didn’t have his father’s talent. He was confident he would make it professional one year and saw it as a staircase: never missing a step, he methodically moved upward each season. Julien knows he still has some steps to go but with a self-described “Olympic calm”, strong work ethic, and never-say-die attitude, he is ready to make his own name in cycling.
Julien raced his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España, last year, and is now visualizing the day he will line up in the Tour de France, the race of his dreams. He is a strong climber and showed immense improvement last year, learning heaps as he rode in support of the team's leaders.
Born and raised near Nevers, France he resides in Dijon with his girlfriend (also a former cyclist) where he completed his master’s degree in Training and Management. His passion for cycling is so intense that he admits if he wasn’t competing he would still work as a trainer or director. He satiates his cycling appetite by watching all the races on TV he can, and confesses that when he first started, his three idols, Fabian, Fränk and Andy, graced his computer’s desktop background.