By Susan Westemeyer
T-Mobile's Berni Kohl was the surprise of the Dauphiné Libéré, winning third place in the overall GC. The young Austrian, who is only in his second pro year, said on his personal website, "I am simply overjoyed. I hadn't thought I would have a success like this for three or four years. The awards ceremony was a dream, standing on the podium next to Leipheimer and Moreau," he added. "And it was a great honour to be congratulated by all the great stars."
Describing Sunday's stage, he said, "after the mountains the big group was only about 40 eriders. I kept orienting myself on Leipheimer, so that nothing could really go wrong. I still had enough power to come to the finish line with the group and that was it!"
Saturday, on the stage to La Toussuire, he thought he was in danger of losing his hard-fought sixth place overall. "Everyone rode hard right from the start and to be honest, I had my problems on the very first mountain, the Col du Galibier. I had actually figured that I would lose my good place in the rankings today, and was just trying to limit my losses. But it went better from kilometre to kilometre. I had overcome my little crisis by the last mountain surprisingly well and was amazed to find I still had power reserves. When they told me over the radio that I had a real chance for third place in the GC, it was as if I grew wings. I fought for every second and it paid off."