Bernhard Kohl went into the Tour de Romandie with a good feeling and looking forward to the climbs. He came out of it asking why he had no power in his legs and vowing to have the problem solved before the Tour de France, which he is scheduled to ride for the first time this year.
Writing on his website, bernhardkohl.at, the Gerolsteiner rider started the race off saying he felt he could afford to lose a few seconds in the prologue, as he thought he could easily make them up in the mountains. But when the Queen stage rolled around on Saturday, it was a different story.
Going into the first climb, he was in 25-man escape group. "As it got really steep, though, I had absolutely no more strength in my legs and had to fall back immediately. I was swept up by the main group and couldn't even stay with them. By the time I got to the top, I was in a group behind the main field," he recalled. He was in a group together with teammate Markus Fothen, who had won the first stage.
Sprinter Robert Förster brought them back to the peloton on the descent and subsequent flat section. "If he hadn't closed that hole, 'Pfötchen' and I would surely never have caught up."
The rest of the stage "was simply torture. I was frustrated and the wet cold weather didn't help my mood." The Austrian was able to stay with the main group until the last climb. He ended the stage 3'23" behind winner Igor Anton. "For such a bad day, the damage held itself in limit," he noted.
"But I have no idea what caused it. I had promised myself a lot more; the bad weather surely played a role, and the crash two days earlier didn't exactly help. But that's sport. You have to learn to accept bad results, too," he said philosophically.
He was not totally dissatisfied with the concluding time trial Sunday, where he finished 52nd, 2'11" minutes down from winner Thomas Dekker. He noted, however, that he did well on the light descent and the flat section, "but when it went uphill, I had the same feeling as yesterday.
"Actually that should be my strength, but today I simply didn't have any power in my legs. I don't know why. I will be examined and with my trainer, look for the cause."