Silence-Lotto signs mountain man Kohl

Bernhard Kohl, third-place finisher and mountains classification winner in this year's Tour de...

Bernhard Kohl, third-place finisher and mountains classification winner in this year's Tour de France, will ride for Team Silence-Lotto. The Belgian team, home of Cadel Evans, announced Monday morning that it has signed the Austrian to a three-year contract.

Silence-Lotto also signed Kohl's Gerolsteiner team-mate Sebastian Lang and announced a new co-sponsor, Q8.

"With Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto has an absolute leader for the next two years. The team management is certain that Cadel Evans and Bernhard Kohl will be completely complementary with regard on circumstances," the team said. Kohl, 26, turned professional with T-Mobile Team in 2005 and joined Team Gerolsteiner in 2007. Lang, 28, is a time-trial specialist.

In addition to Kohl's talents, his nationality may have played a role in his signing. Omega Pharmaceuticals is introducing its Silence anti-snoring product into Austria this month, "and thus Bernhard Kohl's transfer was ideally timed," the team noted.

The team also announced that it has a new co-sponsor, Q8, also known as Kuwait Petroleum Belgium. It has been a minor sponsor for three years already, but is now increasing its support. It will become the third main sponsor, and its logo will appear on all the equipment and jerseys of not only the professional team but also the junior teams. In addition, Lealemant, a company "active in navigation and international logistics," has signed on a minor co-sponsor.

In a press statement, Kohl said, "the whole team is strongly focused on the Tour de France as the season's high point. As we saw this year, you need a strong team to really be able to win. That means you must have at least two or three riders who have the class to ride in the top ten. With Cadel Evans and me Silence-Lotto now has two strong riders, who can be at the top of the race. We will have to wait and see which of us will be stronger in the end." (SW)

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