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Kohl looks back at the Tour

Bernhard Kohl in the action again

Bernhard Kohl in the action again (Image credit: Sirotti)

Bernhard Kohl's first Tour de France was a learning experience for the young Austrian Gerolsteiner rider. "I gained lots of experience and hope to learn from my mistakes. That will surely help me at my next Tour."

"Looking back, my goal to win the white jersey was surely unrealistic. I would have had to have won the Tour itself," he wrote on his website, bernhardkohl.at. "I risked a lot in the Alps. Rasmussen's tactics crossed me up and put en end to my plans to get a good overall standing."

But he didn't give up. "I formed new goals and wanted to get a stage win. I tried to ride very actively and was very satisfied with my performance. A sixth-place finish was a good step in the right direction."

Unfortunately, there was much more than cycling involved in the Tour this year. "Especially at my first Tour, I would have wished that sport stood in the foreground. Before many races I had no more fun with my job, because doping was the only subject being reported on, and everything else was shoved aside. But during the stages, the fans were so enthusiastic that I knew again just why I had worked for years toward this goal of the Tour de France."

"I am sure that cycling has taken an important step in the proper direction in the fight against doping," he concluded. "You can see by the doping cases in the last weeks that the measures are working. That way a clean cycling will hopefully have the upper hand in the future. I can imagine that we can someday be a role model for other sports."

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