We’ve all heard the phrase “poacher turned gamekeeper.” But now, Bernard Kohl, the Austrian cyclist who retired from the peloton after being banned for two years as a result of failing a drugs test during the 2008 Tour de France, plans to become possibly the first doper turned shopkeeper.
According to the newspaper Österreich, Kohl’s store, which will open in February 2010, will be the largest in Vienna, covering 1,1100 square metres. Called Fitstore 24 - Bikepalast Kohl, the shop will be located next to a Harley-Davidson dealership.
The former Gerolsteiner rider reportedly plans to put in daily 12-hour stints at the store, and will no doubt be hoping that his fame – or notoriety, perhaps – proves a greater asset to his shop than it did for his former manager Stefan Matsincher, who recently received a paltry 71 euro after auctioning a Tour de France musette and polka dot jersey signed by Kohl.
Kohl, 27, finished third in the 2008 edition of the Tour de France, winning the mountains jersey, but was stripped of both after it his positive result was revealed.
Matsincher no doubt will be disappointed in the price he received, but when you think about it there’s certainly scope to build a rather niche collection revolving around polka dot jerseys sported by the likes of Richard Virenque and Michael Rasmussen.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.