Chris Horner took to Twitter last night in his hometown of Bend, Oregon to – implicitly – vent his frustrations at his lack of a team for 2014. The Vuelta a España winner is still in negotiations with Trek Factory Team for next season, but so far a deal has not been signed.
Over the course of two and a half hours, Horner sent 24 tweets adding the hashtag “#ididthat.” The veteran American talks about all the sacrifices he’s made over the years, how he travelled the country with no money in search of a chance with a team to become a professional cyclist, and how he came back for a second round even though “some have lost belief.”
Horner finished 6th overall Tirreno-Adriatico in March but was subsequently injured for much of the year. After knee surgery, he came back to beat Vincenzo Nibali in a tense uphill battle on the Angliru to win the Vuelta, and in doing so he became the oldest ever Grand Tour winner at the age of 41.
In a bid to temper the scepticism with which his Vuelta victory was received, Horner last month took the step of releasing his biological passport data on his personal website, although he had earlier refused to answer Cyclingnews questions on whether he was a redacted name in USADA’s Reasoned Decision on the Lance Armstrong case.
In his series of tweets, Horner refers to the scepticism that surrounds him, but he concludes his online essay by saying “Yes it was worth it and the dream continues. With or without the belief.”
9.37pm Pacific Daylight Time: 15 years old and up @ 4:30am before school starts to train while dreaming of winning a grand tour. I did that!
9.44pm PDT Riding your bike to work so that you can train for hours in the dark after works done. I did that!
9.53pm PDT Hitching a ride across the country for months w/no money (almost I had 400+-) to race. I did that!
9.58pm PDT Sleeping in hotels,host family houses,cars,and park benches to get to the races. I did that!
10.02pm PDT Pro teams won't give you chance, so you buy your own license and race as an independent. I did that!
10.09pm PDT Race pro for years w/out pay just hoping to make enough winnings to pay rent. I did that!
10.17pm PDT Win everything in the US, pass on the big pay check, go to Europe for minimum pay. #ididthat!
10.27pm PDT Live in Europe in a small apartment W/no car,computer,phone,TV, only a walk for company. #ididthat!
10.28pm PDT Oops. Only a Walkman for company. #ididthat!
10.33pm PDT Take a step back hoping to go forward again. #ididthat!
10.39pm PDT Winning again but told I'm to old to go back to Europe a second time but keep fighting anyways. #ididthat!
10.45pm PDT Sell everything I own for a second chance at a grand tour, fly over with a 140bucks in my pocket. #ididthat!
10.54pm PDT Start going up the ladder with each year passing while never getting that leader respect and belief. #ididthat!
11.00pm PDT Up @6am w/3kids so I can drop them off @school before I go train all day for the Grand tours. #ididthat!
11.03pm PDT Finding that belief, given the leadership, delivering on it. #ididthat!
11.13pm PDT Moving up the ladder w/that continued belief, big sponsors on board now. #ididthat!
11.18pm PDT Whole season disappearing fast but still working hard to make it to those grand tours. #ididthat!
11.21pm PDT Amazing help and belief from all my family, friends, and fans to get back there. #ididthat!
11.32pm PDT Works paid off, forms back, but by now some have lost belief. #ididthat!
11.40pm PDT So much stress & work 4another start at a dream that began many years ago. #ididthat!
11.43pm PDT A life time of work and a stage/jersey arrive and disappear over night.
11.51pm PDT 100% is given and second time it happens, only to pass just as fast but
belief is returning. #ididthat!
12.04am PDT The jersey returned only this time for life, the stories to tell before & during it are epic & life time. #ididthat
12.08am PDT Yes it was worth it and yes the dream continues... With or without the belief. #ididthat!