Despite being out with injury for most of the season, RadioShack’s Chris Horner returned to the front line to win the queen stage of the Tour of Utah on Saturday. The 41-year-old now leads the race ahead of Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp), although the two could not be separated on time.
With one demanding stage to come, RadioShack are confident that they can complete the job and ensure that Horner wins his first stage race since the 2011 Tour of California.
“I am confident,” said team director Kim Andersen. “We have the best team here.”
The American team are currently leading the teams’ classification and have four riders within the top seven places overall. Danielson remains the biggest threat, but at the finish of stage 5, Horner was pleased to have made such a rapid comeback after a long lay off.
“This is more than I expected. Utah is my first race in five months. The knee is 100 per cent – it’s recovered. As soon as I knew I would miss the Tour de France, I knew Utah would be my next objective. Honestly I came here a little bit under-trained but with the few days of racing, I was able to get a little more training in and it worked out really good. I expected to be good after Utah, but I am already thinking I’m not so bad."
“Of course I feel bad, but all riders do at high altitude. In all honesty, Tommy D. was a little bit better than me on the climb, but I had an awesome team and I was able to take the win.”
The race concludes on Sunday with a 78-mile route through the climbs of Wolf Creek Ranch, Empire Pass and Heber Valley.