Something is Screwy with Chris Horner

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I like Chris Horner. I nearly 100% agree with what he says about reading a race and I like the way that he races normally. I’ve raced and ridden with they guy for a really long time. He is a blue collar rider. I think he loves what he is doing.

That being said, the last couple interviews he’s done with Velonews leave me scratching my head. There are so many statements that don’t really make sense it makes me wonder if maybe they were interviewing him in a foreign language and then translating it back to English. That might explain some of the answers, maybe not.

From what I get out of the articles (training article, spain article), Chris doesn’t think that the Tour of Colorado is hard enough of a race and that he has pretty incredible form, after training for only “3 weeks”, after a 5 month lay off and surgery. I very much doubt the accuracy of that statement.

He goes on to imply that he feels that he can win the Tour of Spain after Utah and possibly will win the race overall. As far as I know, he’s never finished on the podium in a Grand tour.

Man, I don’t much like that talk. I’m not really sure how you get super race form in 3 weeks of training. He’s said that for sure he’ll be in the top 10 of the Tour of Utah, implying better. And that he’s not tired at all from the last two days of racing – 180km, and then 210 km. He must have been training really, really hard.

Like I said above, I like Chris. He’d probably be racing a full cross season if he could do it contractually. He’s always been pretty vocal about predicting his form and where he thinks he is compared to nearly all other riders. But when I hear words like this, it’s always worrisome.

I really hope he has had incredible numbers training and is just euphoric that he is back racing again. That would explain some of the Velonews quotes pretty well. And it would be great if he won Tour of Spain too. It just sounds screwy when he is calling his shots. But, that is how he has always done it.

Chris, Todd Wells and me at Jingle Cross a few years back.

hornermariChris, being the nice guy, pushing Mari Holden up some of the climbs at the Mike Nosco Benefit Ride.

29 thoughts on “Something is Screwy with Chris Horner

  1. Brandall

    Casting doubt on someone with veiled comments when you have no idea what they have been doing day to day seems a little petty and spiteful. I have always known Horner to do mega mileage when he is in a training block. That sort of thing breeds fitness. I like Horner too, but I don’t ride with him every day, just like I don’t ride with you everyday. I realize this blog is just your view on things but I think you are getting suspicious a little too often now. Its getting weird.

  2. SalRuibal

    I liked Chris Horner when I wrote about the Grand Tours and he seemed to be genuine. Chris has and can win stages in a GT, but I don’t think he can back up those podium boasts now. He may be trying to psyche out some other riders but in this era he should be more demure. Chris should just say nothing, ride clean and surprise the hell out of everyone when he wins. I hope he is clean and wins, but cycling has been so disappointing I won’t give it my heart anymore.

  3. Jonathon

    Has he solidified a contract with Trek yet? With 5 months off during a contract year, I think he’s probably talking it up a bit more than usual to make certain that he beeps on the contractual radar while waiting for the remaining “Big” races on the calendar. He probably needs to show massively after being sidelined due to injury and looking like a contract risk.

  4. Taylor

    This is pretty standard for Chris. Whenever his contract is on the line he pulls out some amazing form.

  5. Daniel Russell

    It would be nice to see what Chris could do if supported as the team leader. He has had good grand tour results but his job has always being a nursemaid to Lance, Levi or Andy so I don’t think we can say we have really seen what he can do. It’s sad but Chris may have been the American rider from the past twenty years that was actually the real deal, I hope we get to see what he can do.

  6. Rod

    Being over 40 and needing a new contract, I would expect Horner to be promoting himself as much as possible.

  7. Neil Kopitsky

    Steve, I think a blog about where (how) to appropriately push female cyclists might be helpful, perhaps even to Mr. Horner. Women have told me that they KNOW when a guy is being “Mr. Helpful” and when they are being “Mr. Creepy.” Horner might be right on the border there ….

    I share your ambivalence on Horner. I just can’t wait until he retires so he can replace Phil or Paul or both for cycling commentary.

  8. ScottO

    Does anyone remember the 90s, when Horner was riding for Saturn and won everything in sight?

  9. Skippy

    Perhaps Chris is ” revving himself UP ” , so that when he produces a BIG Result , he won’t have All the detractors on his Back ?

    Having had to be a super dom so many times , it would be good to see him Podium a few times before he gets behind the microphone ! Will he get a few more seasons in the Pro World Level ? Depends on his Good Fortune as the remains of this season unfolds . Looking forward to seeing him once again in Firenze !

  10. Geriatric Racer

    speculated as Rider #15 in the reasoned decision, no? Part LA’s evil inner circle at the end, too. Those 2 articles from Velonews were kind of like journalistic hand jobs for Horner, not really sure why they wasted the electrons. Gotta go with Steve on this, they were weird to read and for a guy that hasn’t raced in 5 months – a bit on the mouthy side

    Just for spite, I hope he gets dropped a lot. No matter, as we will see him domestic next year

  11. biscuit

    I remember when he was Nutra Fig and put it on the Saturn boys (Norm Alvis and co) at the 89er Stage race then followed up with winning a long 2 man break in Tour DuPont.

  12. T Leonard

    Utah is no Vuelta, but, given Horner’s result in today’s stage, he’s clearly got some sort of fitness.

  13. Daniel Russell

    Not Chris’ first miracle recovery. In 2005 he won a stage in the Tour de Suisse on three weeks training. Many think he is rider 15 from Levi’s USADA affidavit who admitted to using EPO in his recovery for the 2005 Tour de Suisse.

  14. SC

    Hey Steve this post was the first thing that came to mind after Chris Horner scored his second stage win at the Vuelta and grabbed the overall. I’m kinda cringing right about now.


  15. Rob C

    Seems Chris’s rise has been pretty parallel with the increases in clean riding.
    Perhaps he was a rider who was truly robbed of a career of grand tour GC finish’s because he was one of the only clean riders through the past generation.

    Now that he is on the eve of winning his Grand Tour, true poetic athletic justice will be done.
    Chris is the real deal. The man that I am soo happy to reap what he should have done years ago.
    Chris Horner,,,,,, 2013 tour of Spain Champ.

  16. es

    hey steve !!!! Chris Horner won the VUELTA buddy !!!!!!!!!!!! how screwy you think he is now ? HORNERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Craig

    Not sure why in the same breath you call his comments “screwy” and “just how he has always done it.” This is such an uninspired, voiceless “post.”

  18. Matt

    –I would compare Horner’s achievement to Andre Agassi’s success post-30 years old in tennis (a sport in which you’re “old” at 28 as compared to cycling which has a few 40+ racers always.)
    –It’s also nice to have in Horner a mature winner who might be able to articulate some of cycling’s problems–as opposed to another young rider giving lip service to the corporate sponsors and governing bodies.

  19. jeff

    You’re right, wow, that was so totally nuts of Chris Horner to say all those things that completely came true.

  20. jeff

    Chris also predicted he was going to kick everyone’s ass at the Tour of California right before he went and kicked everyone’s ass at the Tour of California.

  21. Aaron

    Horner’s biggest training block? His 2012 season and not the 2013 calendar year. I am not going to fall for that one. Not to mention his many years on the bike. That base fitness, past performances on long and steep climbs and being given sole team leadership and protection make for a credible win at the Vuelta. He did not smash by minutes the few top GC guys that choose to race it. Most of his competition had raced the TdF except for Nibali who won the Giro in May. Anyone whose ever trained and raced knows a lot of racing can build to a peak, but you go downhill or flat after that. His win should be view more as a return to a level playing field in the sport. All that’s happen it cycling in recent years clouds up basic and sound physiology. I’d say Horner’s depth in years on racing, both physical and tactical wisdom, counted more for him than his age against. Had the sole Vuelta ITT been flat, he might not of even finished on the podium.


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