T-Mobile's Bernard Kohl hopes to be back in action by mid-late September after his disastrous crash in Sunday's ninth stage of the vuelta a espana. Kohl was in the first group, as they came down a descent. He had the feeling that his front wheel was blocking. He tried to brake, and the next thing he knew, he was flying over the barricade and tumbling down the slope. "I was afraid for my life, since in the first moment I couldn't move and couldn't breathe properly," he said on the team's website.
No one had noticed his abrupt departure, and he had to call attention to himself. As soon as he could breathe again, he called directeur sportif Frans van Looy on his race radio and told him where he was. "I was amazed he could understand me, I could hardly speak," said Kohl. "Then I climbed up and a little later was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. I don't really know how I accomplished that."
He was released from the hospital later that evening, with the happy news that no bones were broken. He had severe back pain, but said that he felt better on Monday. "I'm doing better than on Sunday, but still not really good. I can feel my entire body, despite the pain pills."
The young Austrian will rest for a week to recover from the crash and then start training again. "My big goal is the world championships in Salzburg. I absolutely want to be there. Being able to ride the world's in your homeland is a once in a lifetime chance."