Chris Horner made his Lampre-Merida race debut on day two of the Mallorca Challenge and Cyclingnews spoke to the newest member of the Italian WorldTour squad prior to the stage, ultimately won by the American's teammate Sacha Modolo.
After spending his winter in the sunny climes of San Diego, the 42-year-old Vuelta a Espana champion was eager to race once again after only landing a new team for 2014 in a whirlwind of negotiations in the previous two weeks.
It's the first time in Horner's lengthy career that he's raced for an Italian team and the veteran professional tells Cyclingnews about the dynamics of his new squad, his off-season preparation as well as his race program for the opening months of the 2014 season.
Horner's biggest goal is the Giro d'Italia, but the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco is also a race figuring prominently this spring.
"It's always exciting to get back into the race," Horner told Cyclingnews regarding his first day of racing this season.
"Hopefully you can find some kind of good legs because there's a lot of places to steal UCI points and make a good run at the early part of the season."