Horner signs one-year deal with US team

American signs with "up and coming" team

Chris Horner has signed a one-year deal with a US domestic team for the 2015 season, his agent has confirmed to Cyclingnews.

Horner, 43, was not offered a new contract at WorldTour level by Lampre-Merida but the 2013 Vuelta a España winner has been keen to prolong his career for another year. Horner signed for Lampre on a one-year deal at the start of 2013 and was set to race the Giro d'Italia before his Vuelta defence later in the year.

However, he was hit by a car in April and missed his first objective. He returned to race the Tour de France and was Lampre's highest finisher, in 17th place overall. Despite improving form, he was forced to sit out the Vuelta due to MPCC [Movement for Credible Cycling] regulations concerning low cortisol levels. His final race for the Italian team came in Montreal, Canada, in September.

His chances of staying at Lampre for 2015 remained in the balance until earlier this month when the team confirmed that he would not be offered a contract. That prompted Cooke – who brokered the last-minute deal with Lampre – to look for another team for his client.

Cooke, a former winner of the green jersey in the Tour de France, informed Cyclingnews that Horner had signed a "one-year deal with an up and coming team" but added that "the team and Chris will be making the announcement very soon. It's imminent."

Speculation has been rife as to which team Horner has signed for but Cooke ruled out a WorldTour squad, thus ending any rumours of a move to BMC Racing or Trek Factory Racing, the latter having told Cyclingnews last Friday that they were not interested in re-signing the American.

In recent weeks, Horner has been linked to a number of domestic teams including Jelly Belly, UnitedHealthcare, Jamis, Smartstop and Bissel. Cooke would not be drawn on which team Horner would ride for in 2015 but Jamis, Jelly Belly, UnitedHealthcare and Smartstop have previously ruled out signing the American.

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