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Horner: I don’t know when I’ll retire

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Chris Horner (RadioShack) was the strongest rider at the Vuelta

Chris Horner (RadioShack) was the strongest rider at the Vuelta (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Nibali, Horner and Valverde on the Vuelta podium

Nibali, Horner and Valverde on the Vuelta podium (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Chris Horner (RadioShack)

Chris Horner (RadioShack) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Chris Horner (RadioShack) wins the Vuelta a Espana

Chris Horner (RadioShack) wins the Vuelta a Espana (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

After winning his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta a Espana, Chris Horner says he still has no team for 2014 and has no idea, either, how long he will race before retiring.

"How long will I continue racing? I have no idea,” Horner said at the sundrenched, packed, start of stage 21, “at least two or three years would be good.”

“If my legs are still turning the same way, I will continue.”

“The problem is my age. If I was 20 , 50 different teams would offer me a contract. But I’m 41. I need a team that needs a leader.”

“But I still don’t know my team for next year. I’m very comfortable here [at RadioShack Leopard] if the team wants to go in another direction without me, well that’s it.”

“I’ve been talking to the ProTour teams. I want to continue my career for longer.”

Horner described his victory as “the hardest win of my career, I hope people appreciate the effort that all these riders here made in this race.”

“I have been a professional for 19 years, I try to be the best I can be. I’ve had some great victories and been on the podium of other big races, and every year it’s easy to stay motivated and focussed for the next victory.”

“To win this Vuelta though is amazing. I hope people appreciate everything, how complicated it was to get to this level, not to get sick. So many factors have to come together for me to still win.”

Horner admitted, too, that the course with so many high mountains early on was ideal for him. “When we started so well in the team time trial with Fabian Cancellara [RadioShack finished second], I didn’t know if I believed I could win. But I thought the red jersey was possible.”

“I came here super motivated, it’s an incredible parcours, its tailor-made for my style of racing.”

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.