Chris Horner’s future is still unclear with the American rider yet to sign a contract with a team for this season. The former Vuelta a Espana winner has been forced to put his career on hold as he seeks treatment for a longstanding lung infection but according to his agent, Baden Cooke, Horner is undergoing another batch of antibiotics with the hope of still racing this year.
“I spoke with him the other day and he’s still got a lung infection. He’s doing another course of antibiotics at the moment. I don’t know much more than that. If he can fix his lungs he will continue and if he can’t he won't. He’s playing it by ear at the moment,” Cooke told Cyclingnews.
Horner raced for Airgas-Safeway in 2015 and the team will race under the name of Team Illuminate this season. Horner’s health problems trace back to the Tour de France 2014, where he first picked up the infection. Last year was dogged by health problems as a result, before a full diagnosis was made in the winter.
In December stories of a possible retirement began to circulate. However they were quickly dispelled by both Horner and Cooke – who himself was a former Green Jersey winner at the Tour de France.
When asked if this latest treatment would mark Horner’s final shot at finding full health, Cooke said: “I don’t know. He just told me that he’s started another 28-day course. He’s not about to continue if he can’t fix it. He feels that things are progressing though. He wants to carry on and he’s speaking to his old team from last year but everything depends on his health.”
In December Horner told Business Insider, “I knew there was some kind of bug down there, and they finally found it at the end of October. I did eight rounds of antibiotics and just finished my ninth.
"But of course each round has been different, and it's stronger antibiotics each time. Before this last round, they didn't know what they were trying to kill, so hopefully now that they've done the bronchoscopy, they know exactly what they're trying to kill."