Horner gets green light for Tour de France
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Horner gets green light for Tour de France

by Shane Stokes at 2:19 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
American rider successful in push for selection

Chris HornerOriginally a surprise omission from the shortlist for the Tour de France, the RadioShack Nissan team has confirmed today that Chris Horner will indeed form part of the nine-man squad for the race, which begins in a week and half.

The 40 year old, who finished ninth in 2010 but then was forced out of the race last year due to concussion, will take part for the sixth time in his career. He was second in Tirreno-Adriatico this year and more recently placed eighth in the Amgen Tour of California.

An on-off back problem then flared up and meant that he rode neither the Critérium du Dauphiné nor the Tour de Suisse. Despite that, he was stunned last week when the team announced the shortlist for the Tour and he was not present.

Since then, Andy Schleck has withdrawn from the squad due to a fractured sacrum sustained in the Dauphiné, and Horner has also spoken at length to general manager Johan Bruyneel. The latter said at the time the shortlist was announced that the American rider would not compete as he hadn’t done the Dauphiné or the Tour de Suisse; since then, both have sorted out any differences which existed and he has a green light for the race. Ironically, Bruyneel's own presence is now under question following notification that the US Anti Doping Agency is taking action against him, Lance Armstrong and four others.

Horner will compete in the Tour alongside multiple world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara, Tony Gallopin, Andreas Klöden, Maxime Monfort, Yaroslav Popovych, Fränk Schleck, Jens Voigt and Haimar Zubeldia.

Schleck finished second overall yesterday in the Tour de Suisse. Despite that, directeur sportif Kim Andersen said today that he didn’t believe the Luxembourg rider would have enough in reserve to content for the overall classification in the Tour.

If that is the case, it makes it likely that Horner and Klöden will be the protected riders in that respect.

The past few days have been good for Horner. He was confirmed by USA Cycling on Friday as being part of the five man US squad for the Olympic road race, thus being set to make his debut after being passed over several times in the past.

Tyler Farrar (Garmin Barracuda/Wentachee/Washington), Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team/Tacoma, Washington), US road racing champion Timmy Duggan (Liquigas/Boulder, Colorado) and Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team/Boulder, Colorado) are the others who will don the national jersey.

RadioShack Nissan for the Tour de France:

Fabian Cancellara
Tony Gallopin
Chris Horner
Andreas Klöden
Maxime Monfort
Yaroslav Popovych
Fränk Schleck
Jens Voigt
Haimar Zubeldia


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