Freigeist Kämna hopes for the tour coup

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At the thought of Alpe d’Huez, Lennard Kämna gets enthusiastic. “It’s a historic climb. I climbed up there as a teenager, now I’m happy to do it as a professional,” says Kämna.

The German tour talent has to be patient a little longer before the 109th Tour de France starts on the king’s stage in the ski resort. The spectacle is not on the program until July 14th. Perhaps by then he will have achieved his goal and won a stage.

“I’m very motivated and in good shape,” emphasizes Kämna before the start of the tour in Copenhagen. “I don’t have a specific stage in mind but there are a lot of good chances for breakaways. I’ll definitely try.” Just like at the Giro, when Kämna won the difficult stage on Mount Etna and finally reported back after a difficult year in 2021, which was accompanied by mental problems.

discovery of the season

Despite already winning a Tour stage in 2020, Kämna is something of the revelation of the season. Because the fact that the North German will ever be on the road again as a professional cyclist was in the balance for a long time. It wasn’t until a mountain bike trip to South Africa, on which team boss Ralph Denk sent him, that the enthusiasm in Kämna was awakened again. “I’m proud that we were able to teach him to enjoy cycling again,” says Denk.

And because Kämna delivers strong results and spectacular escapes, his Bora-hansgrohe team also has fun. Shortly before the start of the tour, the contract with the immensely talented tour driver was extended prematurely. During the tour, the 25-year-old Bora captain will support Alexander Vlasow in the mountains, but will be given freedom, as was the case with the Giro.

These are obviously important for Kämna to be able to develop his full potential. “He’s a bit of a free spirit,” says Denk and reports on the first time trial of the Giro d’Italia, in which Kämna surprisingly took eighth place: “He pulled that out of his hat. He hardly looked at the track and was without it Radio link. He wanted to do the freestyle.”

Time Trial Master

Last Saturday, Kämna secured the German championship title in the time trial for the first time. However, he does not see himself as a candidate for victory in the opening time trial of the Tour over 13.2 kilometers on Friday in Copenhagen. “It’s the time trial specialists’ turn, I’m not at that level yet. I’ll see where I end up,” says the former junior world champion in the fight against the clock.

The stage victory remains the big goal. Possibly because he personally has a lot in common with the tour. After his stage win in Villard-de-Lans in 2020, Kämna gradually slipped into a mood dip that almost cost him his career. “As soon as there are difficulties, I have problems getting satisfaction outside of sport. I missed opening myself up to other things, developing other interests. I lived my life wrong,” Kämna once said to the “Weser Kurier “.

Today he doesn’t want to talk about that time anymore. His gaze is understandably forward and Kämna seems to have overcome his problems. This is good news for him and also for German cycling. Because there aren’t many drivers in his class in this country anymore.

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