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Kohl: the to-do and the nettles

At the ongoing Tour de Romandie, T-Mobile's Berni Kohl is riding his first race ever with team star Jan Ullrich, and is quite impressed with all the to-do and fuss around the German Tour de France hope. "It's really crazy, you can barely concentrate on cycling," Kohl wrote on his personal website. "Before this I never rode a race with him, so I hadn't experienced the media interest first hand yet. But I don't want to be distracted by it all and will concentrate on the race."

How well he concentrated on Wednesday's stage is open to debate, although the cause of his "downfall" was certainly not the media interest in Ullrich. There was a crash on the right side of the road and as the TV helicopter zoomed in on it, a magenta-clad figure on the left side slid gently away and went somersaulting down the bank into a ditch.

"Since there weren't any mountains today in which I could show myself, I had to think of something else," he elegantly explained. "Well, that spectacular crash wasn't really planned. But nothing happened to me, and that's the main thing." Well, almost nothing happened to him: "The only problem with the crash was that while I landed soft, I didn't land on a nice lawn, but in a field of nettles. Unbelievable how my whole body burns now! I hope it goes away quickly, if it stays like this I won't be able to even think of relaxing tonight."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

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