News: Oldest Grand Tour Winner Horner gets Team


Lampre-Merida have confirmed on Twitter that they have signed the American Chris Horner, the oldest Grand Tour winner after victory at 42 years of age in the Tour of Spain.

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After not getting a contract with Trek, Horner has joined World Champion Rui Costa at a strengthened Lampre squad which has already started making waves with victories in the early season pro races in the Southern Hemisphere.

Providing the paper work can be done and dusted in time, Horner is expected to start his time with Lampre in the Mallorca Challenge from February 9 to 12 in Spain.

It’s been a long road for Horner who has been chasing a contract since the win in the Vuelta last September. He has been linked with many small teams over the winter but the need to have a Grand Tour in the race programme was a key ingredient for Horner. As was a good financial package.

Lampre will be his eleventh team after he started his career with French team FDJ in 1997 before racing in the States for three US based outfits before then returning to Europe in 2005 with Spanish team Saunier Duval.

He then spent time at Lotto, Astana and Radioshack. Whilst his win in the Vuelta surprised many, Horner has tasted success in a variety of races. Mainly smaller stage races or hilly classics.

Second at Tirreno–Adriatico and a win at Vuelta al País Vasco are two that stand out but Horner has also had quite a few top 10s in races like Fleche Wallone, Leige-Bastogne-Leige, Amstel Gold, Tour of Lombardy and the Road Worlds. His best in the Tour de France has been 9th in 2010 and 13th in 2012.

His contract with Lampre is for one year and his race programme is said to include The Tour of Italy and Tour of Spain. It’s reported on the Ride website in an interviewed with Horner’s manager, former pro Baden Cooke, that Horner is not expected to be going for the GC in the Giro but rather mentor the younger GC contenders in the team. Horner is then expected to get his chance at the 2014 Vuelta.

The interview with Cooke goes on to say that Horner has continued to train and that the veteran pro is very keen to get going and is ‘rapt’ with the outcome.


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