With his confidence sky-high after his strong performances in recent weeks, T-Mobile's Bernhard Kohl will lead his squad at the Tour of Austria, from July 3-9, the team announced. After excellent performances at the Dauphiné Libéré, where he finished third in GC, the 24 year-old just won his national elite men's road race in Salzburg on Sunday and will now start his home tour in the red and white jersey of the Austrian Champion.
"I think I have shown on a few occasions this season what I am capable of," said Kohl. "A stage win at my home tour would be fantastic. I think I can mix it with the best of them."
Directeur sportif Frans van Looy is convinced his rider could not be better at the moment. "Bernhard is in the form of his life and he is well capable of challenging for the GC," he said. Joining Kohl on the 1,042 km-race through the Alpine nation will be a mixed crew of all-rounders, classics specialists and sprinters: Sergey Ivanov, Daniele Nardello, Frantisek Rabon, André Korff, Olaf Pollack, Stephan Schreck and Thomas Ziegler.
After two relatively flat opening stages, the first GC shake-up is expected on stage three, when the race hits the high mountains, concluding with a summit finish atop the 1,670 metre Kitzbüheler Horn - one of the toughest climbs in central Europe.