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Horner uses his experience at Tirreno-Adriatico

Stephen Farrand
March 9, 2013, 22:40,
March 9, 2013, 22:35
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, March 10, 2013
Tirreno - Adriatico
Chris Horner (RadioShack) rode a smart race

Chris Horner (RadioShack) rode a smart race

  • Chris Horner (RadioShack) rode a smart race
  • Chris Horner (RadioShack) looked back to his best
  • Chris Horner (RadioShack)

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Radioshack veteran impressed by Team Sky

Chris Horner (RadioShack-Leopard) made his season debut at Tirreno-Adriatico but used his years of experience to make up for his lack of racing and so limited his losses on the climb to the Prati di Tivo and stayed in overall contention.

While Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) consumed vital energy by going on the attack in the final three kilometres, Horner kept his powder dry and did everything he could to stay with eventual stage winner Chris Froome (Team Sky).

He finished fifth on the stage and is now sixth overall, 40 seconds behind new leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).

"I'm 41 now, so if you don't have it figured out by now then you should've probably retired a long time ago," Horner said laconically as he pulled on some clothing for the descent to the Radioshack team bus.

"I aimed here to be good. This race is the best quality field beside the Tour de France that I've ever seen put together. Paris-Nice: there's nobody there. Everybody's here: the best sprinters, the best GC guys in the world, this is a Tour de France quality field.

"You always want to win and I thought I could get the win but when I saw Froome go I realised that wasn't a possibility.

"I'd be happy with a top 10 in a field of this quality. I'd like to be on the podium now but there's only tomorrow to Chieti that is sharp and steep, I think that this and the TT will decide it, though. My days of the GC were made here."

Admiration for Team Sky

Horner was full of admiration for how Team Sky and Froome out-rode Nibali and Contador.

"It was intelligent racing from Sky, they have a lot of good guys and Froome was patient. It was a carbon copy of the Tour," he said.

"It's amazing how strong his team was, it was a block headwind and they had two Colombian guys riding on the front. It was just incredibly smart and good racing by Sky. Froome was very patient when Contador was attacking, he stayed with his teammates. They were very strong.

"With one kilometre to go, Contador, Nibali and Santambrogio were gone. But Froome still stayed patient until finally they were in sight, then he just did one acceleration, dropped me and went past the others."

tyhsia More than 1 year ago
What today showed is that Horner is the best GC rider on Radioshack. The idiot DS wasted him by handcuffing him at last year's Tour, making him wait around for the hopeless Frank Schleck. He needs to be the protected captain in all the major races.
philpaque More than 1 year ago
Horner once made a similar comment about USPS in the TDF.
BAD_44 More than 1 year ago
I have refrained from entering the debate over Sky's cleanliness or lack thereof, but it is quite obvious something's going on. just saying...
ceramiccyclist More than 1 year ago
The reason isn't doping. It's money. Just like in professional football. The richest team wins.
NashbarShorts More than 1 year ago
B/c as we all know, there is no doping in professional football/soccer. None at all...
erader More than 1 year ago
horner is probably the last guy in the peloton who still believes lance never doped so i take his admiration of banest....i mean sky at face value.
unc_sammy More than 1 year ago
Where is Michael Rogers? Last year TDF, he was one of the dependable pacers for Sky's Wiggins on the mountain passes. At Saxo-Tinkoff this year, he could not even latch on the rear wheel of his team captain.
maxmartin More than 1 year ago
Bingo lol
LRI44 More than 1 year ago
True True but I'm reserving my judgement on this until the TDF when he should be in his best form.
joe1265 More than 1 year ago
Nibali rode like an amateur with all that weaving and looking over the shoulder and cursing at Contador. Attack already.
Petergem More than 1 year ago
-''Paris-Nice: there's nobody there. Everybody's here: the best sprinters, the best GC guys in the world, this is a Tour de France quality field''.- Stupid American :\
Jeffrey Jenkins More than 1 year ago
He has a point. Look at the podium at Paris-Nice. Richie Porte, Andrew Talansky and Jean-Christophe Peraud. Not exactly GC contenders in any of the major tours.