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Lotto-Belisol rules out Horner return

Daniel Benson
December 13, 2013, 16:25,
December 13, 2013, 16:27
Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, December 13, 2013
Thumbs up: Chris Horner in red on the final day

Thumbs up: Chris Horner in red on the final day

  • Thumbs up: Chris Horner in red on the final day
  • Chris Horner (RadioShack)
  • Luca Guercilena and Christopher Horner (RadioShack - Leopard)
  • Marc Sergeant calls the shots on the Lotto team

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Sergeant says American not in budget, strategy

Marc Sergeant has ruled out re-signing American rider Chris Horner: the 2013 Vuelta a España winner is still looking for contract for next season.

Sergeant, who runs the Lotto-Belisol team, signed Horner on a two-year deal in 2006 when the squad raced under the Davitamon banner. Horner moved to Astana in 2008 and later RadioShack before wining the Vuelta in September at the grand age of 42.

"We worked together for two years but now on that money, at his age, he can't fit in our team," Sergeant told Cyclingnews.

Sergeant has already bolstered his team with a number of signings for 2014 including Maxime Monfort and Tony Gallopin.

"We're looking at giving chances to young guys with potential and we live up to the goals of André Greipel, Gallopin, and Jurgen Van den Broek, so Horner wasn't suited to that."

Horner failed to land a deal with RadioShack's new title sponsor Trek and saw another option disappear when it was confirmed that Fernando Alonso's project would be shelved for at least another 12 months.

"I saw his agent Michael Rutherford several times at the Vuelta and he knew it was not easy. I said to him whatever offer you give me I'll say no because it's not in our strategy and we don't have too much money to pay him."

"Another part of the issue is that no teams need the points. Before it was a problem to be in top 15 teams but now that problem has gone. It's not like it was two or three years ago."

ridein 10 months ago
Yet again for Horner, wrong place, wrong time.
maxmartin 10 months ago
Horner probably never imagined this would happen, nobody believes in him
James Silva 10 months ago
Oxygen Vector 10 months ago
Win the Vuelta, lose your job. Ironic.
doctornurse 10 months ago
No....Win the Vuelta in a semi-miraculous recovery from knee surgery. Forget that you are a fragile, injury-prone, 42 year old pure climber who can only win on the most selective of climbing courses in multi-day stage races. Allow old bitterness to cloud your otherwise superb judgement. Price yourself completely out of the market based on a single exceptional performance. Refuse to compromise your asking price and/or swallow your pride, and THEN lose your job...Pretty simple really
Oxygen Vector 10 months ago
Do you know Chris personally?
nepetalactone 10 months ago
Methinks there's a bit of assumption going on in there. According to this article, Sergeant didn't really even see cost as the barrier, for example.
leftbehind 10 months ago
"... but now ###on that money###, at his age, he can't fit in our team," "... I'll say no because it's not in our strategy and we don't have ###too much money### to pay him."
doctornurse 10 months ago
And that's the point- Look, like many of us on these boards, I do not know Chris Horner personally, but he certainly seems a straightforward and likeable guy, but I'm sorry- NO TEAM has in their strategy paying an injury prone, pure climber GT Champion money at age 42. You can parse what Sergeant says all you like, but Horner overestimated the value of a single exceptional Vuelta performance. His lack of a contract to date speaks to that. He neede to accept that that Vuelta was a total alignment of ALL the stars, andthat the odds of him repeating that performance at age 43+ is slim to none, and priced himself accordingly. He did not and is- and probably will remain- unemployed at the World Tour level of cycling. Thems the facts...
antmills 10 months ago
.... Exactly!
sbroaddus 10 months ago
Just about any pro tour team will immediately double their chances of winning the 2014 Vuelta if they sign this old dog... he's old school and he has already told us that he aims to defend his Vuelta title next year. He will rise again to the occasion and show all the kids in the peloton, again, how serious training and tactical savvy can can allow a mature veteran to leave the usual favorites failing to hang onto his wheel. Some of you will laugh, again, like you did this year when he showed up in Spain saying he was ready to win it. He'll get signed, and the lucky team that takes him will have a very fun season.
Brian Handy 10 months ago
I am a fan of Chris, but it looks like he has no chance of defending his title next year because he won't be riding. I'm afraid he's made a grave miscalculation by turning down Trek's offer. This late in the season its a long shot to find a job with most rosters finalized, maybe he could find a spot at Astana now that Pelizotti won't be with the team after all. And wouldn't that be ironic, Horner racing the Veulta next year in Astana colors...
antmills 10 months ago
I'm enjoying all these "fan" posts! ...... Makes me laugh at how the content sounds like an LA fan posting.
bike_boy 10 months ago
I'm a closet fan of chris, it'd be a shame for him to go out like this.
sbroaddus 10 months ago
no need to stay in the closet, he could use some support against all the tough guys like doctornurse (see above) that want to tell him what he's worth and how he should conduct his business.
jmdirt 10 months ago
20/20 hindsight, he should have taken the TREK deal!
Chris.P.Bacon 10 months ago
I'm surprised that neither Tinkoff or Astana hasn't snatched him up yet. He would be a perfect for either & both definitely have the room & $$$.
Tom Janci 10 months ago
Victim of circumstance, IMHO. Fewer teams + member of the "old guard" (doper or not, that generation is plagued) = might just be time to hang up the wheels. Go out on top as a GT champion.
attila 10 months ago
If he shows up at the race, by himself, would they say, "hey Chris, you can't ride an defend your title"? That would be interesting.
nepetalactone 10 months ago
Send Chris back to Spain kickstarter?
Psycle 10 months ago
Brilliant suggestion ! Let's raise the money to send Chris "Did I finish?" Horner to defend his title. I would kick in a few bucks to see that.