Horner Back in the Saddle
At the Amgen Tour of California this weekend, Chris Horner of RadioShack is in his toughest form in protecting Levi Leipheimer’s number one objective of winning his fourth consecutive title this season as the race progresses into the mountains. “It’s been a little while since I’ve raced and mentally I wasn’t prepared to come here and race for the win.” He confirmed that he came to race insure Levi ‘s victory and that he believed Levi is the guy 100 percent to lead them all the way for the win. He further said, “But if something happens, like Levi crashes or something, of course plans change and we have a stellar squad that could come through for sure. Levi is certainly the guy to win this race.”
Horner, early this season won the overall title at the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco in the sixth and final stage. At the Spring Classic’s Pro Tour Victory, he took the helm as a leader and placed eighth at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. “It was fun, a great time and my form was good,” he declared. “I wasn’t necessarily the team leader for the race at the start. We had a lot of strong guys there. We always had three guys racing like leaders until we hit the time trial. Once we hit the time trial I was lucky enough to win that and move on. For the Classic’s I was a little more of a leader than at the Basque Country.”
Moreover, Horner said, “I feel like I had a lot of those leadership moments last year. You know in the race if you have good form or not so certainly at the Basque Country this year I felt spectacular.” He admitted at the Giro d’Italia and Velta a Espana last year he also felt great, however it all ended in a great loss.
Horner is optimistic about sustaining his success and hopes to earn a spot on RadioShack’s Tour de France squad. Due to some political spats with the former Astana team, he did not make it last year. “My targets are to have a good Dauphine Libere and to make the Tour squad,” he said. When asked about his chances in making the Tour selection, he added, “It doesn’t matter because it’s irrelevant what I think.” He is going to train for the Tour whether he is selected or not.