Berni Kohl is leaving T-Mobile at the end of this season, and he had hoped to go out with a top ten finish in the Vuelta a España. However, a crash on a descent Sunday put an end to all such hopes.
On the descent of the Puerto de San Lorenzo, he fell and went over the barrier, tumbling down the slope. "Bernhard must have steered wrong in a curve and so came off the road," said directeur sportif Frans van Looy. "We were only informed about somewhat later, because nobody noticed the crash, not even the race jury."
Kohl was taken to the local hospital. "It looks like Bernhard didn't suffer any serious injuries. That is the most important thing But it is all the more disappointing in light of his great performance up until now." The young Austrian had gone into the stage as eighth overall, only one and a half minutes down on then-race leader Janez Brajkovic (Discovery Channel).
According to his website, Kohl was released from the hospital late Sunday night. "Berni didn't have any broken bones, but he has severe back pains."
T-Mobile lost two other riders during the stage, as Thomas Ziegler and Andre Greipel quit the race. The team is now down to five riders, as Andre Korff dropped out of the fifth stage with stomach problems.