Chris Horner Aims for Podium Finish in 2011 Tour de France

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05/23/2011| 0 comments
by Thomas A. Valentinsen

Chris Horner Aims for Podium Finish in 2011 Tour de France

After clearly dominating the mountains of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California and with the overall race victory secured yesterday evening, Team RadioShack's Chris Horner is planning on just a brief bask in the limelight of victory.

After clearly dominating the mountains of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California and with the overall race victory secured yesterday evening, Team RadioShack's Chris Horner is planning on just a brief bask in the limelight of victory.

Chris Horner is already focusing on his next big goal of this season, namely a podium finish in the 2011 Tour de France. 39-year-old Horner, a California resident, was not considered an early favorite by many pro cycling analysts, but the experience, determination and maturity of racing 16-years as a professional put him in the driver's seat after an amazing stage win up Sierra Road in Wednesday's stage 4. With teammate Levi Leipheimer holding second place just behind him, Horner took the race leader's jersey to wear it straight through to Thousand Oaks today.

"I was nostalgic all day," Chris Horner told Roadcycling.com and our mobile sister site Roadcycling.mobi and continued "I was having a grin from ear-to-ear. I've done so much training up here on these roads, maybe going back as far as 1991. I've really built my career training here. This Southern California area has been my stomping grounds. As soon as they (the race organizers) added the summit finishes this race really became a goal for me. I want to say that the crowds throughout California and on the summit finishes were epic."

The victory in the 2011 Tour of California is Horner's 18th overall victory in a professional stage race. Projecting ahead to July, Horner looks for his good form in California to carry him to loftier heights in the French July air.

"To be clear, it's very simple with this team," Horner commented when asked if he will be considered the team leader for Team RadioShack's 2011 Tour de France roster. "It's very easy in the Tour de France to figure out who's good and who's not good. Make no mistake, with RadioShack this team is 100% dedicated to the rider who will perform at the Tour de France."

However, according to Horner the transition period between the Tour of California and the Tour de France will be anything but easy. "It's a difficult transition at this period between the Tour of California and the Tour de France to come in at 100 percent form. Levi (Leipheimer) and I will have to do everything perfectly between now and then to make that happen. It's a very small window and it's a time that if you do something wrong it will affect your form for sure at the Tour."

Horner says he won't have any problem working for Levi Leipheimer in the Tour de France if necessary and tells our readers to keep their eyes on Jani Brajkovic. "I have no problem working for Levi and you see he has no problem working for me. We have a fantastic Jani Brajkovic who could shine really bright at the Tour de France 2011. And of course there is Andres Klöden (Germany). I expect to be with four guys who have a little bit of freedom and we will have five guys who

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