A Phone Conversation with the 'Homeless' Chris Horner
Tommy Murphy talks to Chris Horner about racing in Europe and the 2005 Tour de France.
Aitor up the road. By the time Guerini pulled us back up to Rogers and Schleck, he [Aitor] was already gone. I think the only time I?ve seen Aitor was when he was on the cover of VeloNews when he won the Vuelta a few years ago.
RC: How is your race communication with your team? You barely hear half the stuff on those radios as it is, so I imagine it doesn?t help when your director and teammates are going off in Spanish or Italian.
CH: It makes it really hard! Usually our team director will use French when communicating with me, but as you know, it can be a mess when there?s a lot going on. In the last stage of the Tour de Suisse, I didn?t realize it was Gonzalez up the road. If had known I would have tried to reduce the gap more on the climb as I was holding back. I figured we would catch him on the descent as we had something like 20km still to go to the finish and 5 of us to work together. In the end, it was only like two and half of us working.....We should have caught him!
RC: Yea, that surprised me too. Congratulations on your Tour selection!
RC: What do you think about this year?s Tour de France?
CH: I?m really excited. This will be my first Tour if I can get there, ?knock on wood?.
RC: What do you mean?
CH: Well, I?ve actually been selected to do the Tour a couple of times with both Francaise des Jeux and Mercury, but I just haven?t been able to get there. I broke my wrist in the weeks prior to the Tour when I was with Francaise des Jeux, and well, you know the whole story with Mercury. This year my number one goal is to just get to the start.
RC: We?re all crossing our fingers for you Chris.
CH: Thanks. I?m really excited.
RC: Looking at the team, it?s pretty clear there?s no clear cut team leader? What role do you see yourself playing at the Tour?
CH: Right now we have a few different guys who can mix it up for both stage wins and high overall placings. We have Garate who?s doing the double this year and finished 5 th overall at the Giro. Zaballa is going really well right now and of course Leo [ Leonardo Piepoli]. He?ll be looking for a strong finish and will be a man to watch in the mountains. We?ll basically wait to see what happens in those first mountain stages especially the first mountain top finish on Courchevel, then work around our leaders at that point.
RC: How do you feel about the team?s chances in the Team Time Trial?
CH: I really don?t know what to expect, but we have strong guys. It?ll definitely