Horner's rest day up in smoke

Prior to the time trial Chris Horner said that he was going to hold back, using the chance to recover somewhat while deliberately losing more time. This, he said, would make it more likely for him to be given a bit of leeway to chase a stage win in the coming days.

However once he got rolling, the competitive instinct took over. "I went for it in the end. I always do," he told Cyclingnews with a somewhat resigned tone. "I always say I will hold back and then I get on my bike, see guys in front of me and then start going hard. Maybe I could have gone thirty seconds harder, but I don't think that would have been too smart. I did push it, though."

"It is a typical TT course, very hard. The hill is exactly the same as yesterday. It was about 500 meters too long for me. I was good through all the hard cobbles and then when you come out on the softer cobbles, I just blew.

The Davitamon Lotto rider placed 31st, 2'27 back, and moved from up one place to 27th overall. "I am pretty happy with my time trial. It is not a bad time. It will move me up on GC or keep me up there where I am. I am a bit frustrated, though, because I think the break I was in the other day [stage 12] was the best chance to make up good time. Caisse d'Epargne have four guys in or near the top ten now so if you get clear, you are going to be in a break with one of those guys and they won't get much leeway.

"I don't know if Valverde will have the lead after today or not, but I assume he will have it by some seconds. All the breaks are going to end up with an Illes Balears guy there. Vinokourov's team is going to have to chase hard; it is not going to be like the Tour where you have guys who are 20 minutes down going up the road. We are going to have guys who are just five minutes back and you just can't afford to give those guys that kind of time."

He did see one possible advantage, though. "The plus side is that I think that the Caisse d'Epargne guys are going to have to drive really hard to put Vinokourov into the position where he is isolated, so maybe that could help me out a little bit there. But I don't see anyone gaining massive amounts of time on these coming stages."

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1