The Horner Conundrum

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09/9/2013| 3 comments
by Neil Browne
Chris Horner in La Vuelta a Espana 2013 Unipublic

The Horner Conundrum

Chris Horner is over 40 and could win a grand tour. Let's take a deeper look.

he repeat his 2013 performance in 2014? Cycling history is littered with one-year wonders. Could the knee issue flare up again after a torturous Vuelta and ruin his 2014?

If you're an owner of a team and you have a fixed amount of money, do you spend it on a younger rider with a bright future or gamble on the older guy who might have one more year in the tank? Cycling teams don't have the luxury of deep pockets like other sports we might be familiar with.

But while those physical attributes are diminishing with the tick of time, there is one thing that gets better – wisdom. Horner can read a race like no one else. Also, perhaps the Fountain of Youth that Chris has found is he hasn't raced as much as his competitors and is fresher? Horner could be effective to a team in a more selective manner - have him suit up for only the most import races, say a grand tour and America's important stage races: 2014 Tour of California, Tour of Utah, and the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado? That must be of use to some team? And let's say by August 2014 Horner is toasted from one too many knee surgeries. Stick that guy in a team car! Like I said earlier, he could run tactical circles around many a current Directeur Sportif.

Speculating, I think Chris will finish this year's Vuelta a Espana on the podium and be offered a contract extension with the rebranded Trek team for 2014. He'll be able to shrug off any and all doping accusations because there’s no smoking gun. If not Trek in 2014, I hear Cannondale is looking for an American...

Now let's talk about Jens Voigt...

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Also, if you're located in the USA you can watch video highlights from all stages of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana in our videos section .

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XpertNtraining|

Neil's view on Americans and cycling is more skewed than a category IV road.

cervelo17|

Neil, thanks for expressing what I've been thinking...and what I've NOT seen written anywhere else. Horner comes across as a likeable happy-go-lucky guy who is well spoken after the race. But it has always worried me that he has improved when he should be on the decline (which coincided when he linked up with the Johan/Lance juggernaut). And his answers regarding Lance not being a doper were ludicrous.
Cheers!

Steve O'|

Five years ago or so, no one would cheering more loudly for a Horner GT win.

Today, all I can think is: not normal.