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Kohl training and planning for 2007

By Susan Westemeyer

Bernhard Kohl had planned to train this fall and winter exactly the same as last year, but he hadn't allowed for the spring-like European weather in early December. "Actually I had planned to build up my form with cross-country skiing. But there's just no snow right now."

The Austrian rider is preparing to trade in his magenta jersey from T-Mobile for the blue one of Gerolsteiner. "I look forward to the new challenge," he wrote on his personal website. "We are a young team and face the responsibility of filling the gap left by the departure of Georg Totschnig and Levi Leipheimer. That won't be easy."

After the Gerolsteiner team meetings last week, he knows what is on his racing calendar for the coming year. "Like last year, I'll start with the Tour of California. Then it goes on with Paris-Nice and a few smaller stage races. The first big goal of the season is the Tour of Romandie."

But Kohl is looking forward to an even bigger highlight: "My first Tour de France. I'll do everything I can to be at the start there."