Horner gains more than he loses in Utah, gets valuable confidence booster prior to Vuelta a España
  May 24, 2018 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Monday, August 12, 2013

Horner gains more than he loses in Utah, gets valuable confidence booster prior to Vuelta a España

by Shane Stokes at 8:07 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Andersen accepts Danielson was simply stronger, but believes there’s much to be encouraged about

Chris HornerGiven the form and determination he showed when winning Saturday’s queen stage of the Tour of Utah, many expected that Chris Horner would hold onto the race lead on yesterday’s final stage of the race.

True, he followed rather than lead en route to the stage win, sitting like a limpet on the wheel of Tom Danielson as they made their way to the top of the Snowbird climb, then leaping past him inside the final 200 metres.

As wins go, it was opportunistic rather than overpowering.

However given Danielson’s past issues with dealing with pressure plus also the fact that Horner had a strong RadioShack Leopard squad to try to ensure that he contained any assaults by his closest rival, many thought that Horner would be in yellow when the race concluded.

Instead, he was unable to hold Danielson when the latter made his move. The Garmin-Sharp rider forged ahead at the beginning of the Empire Pass climb and quickly got a gap; Horner tried to limit his losses but Danielson gradually pulled further and further ahead, catching and passing riders who had gone up the road earlier on, and opening a gap of over a minute.

Given that they had started the stage level on time, it was clear that Horner was losing any hope he had of winning the overall.

Danielson was caught by Francisco Mancebo Perez (5-Hour Energy p/b Kenda) and Janier Alexis Acevedo Calle (Jamis-Hagens Berman) on the descent to the finish and they took the first two places on the stage. That wasn’t his priority, though; in finishing one minute 25 seconds clear of Horner, he sealed his overall victory and took one of the most important successes of his career.

Commenting afterwards, RadioShack Leopard directeur sportif Kim Andersen acknowledged the American rider’s strength, plus the fact that his team could do nothing about it. “Everything went perfect in the beginning. The break went clear and was perfect for us, but then the final climb destroyed everything,” he said. “We were all blown away by Danielson. He was by far the best.”

However he took consolation from the team classification success that RadioShack Leopard took. “It’s nice for us that we’ve again won a team GC. We’ve collected a lot of those wins this season,” he stated.

He also is upbeat about Horner’s form. The veteran has been sidelined for months due to an injury he picked up at Tirreno Adriatico, and told VeloNation in June that he had faced a frustrating time in trying to get over the issue.

Now, with a stage win and second overall in the Tour of Utah, Andersen believes that Horner is on track for a strong Vuelta a España.

“No excuses. This is the real law of sport – Tom Danielson was just better and Chris didn’t have the legs to follow today. But can we blame him?,” he asked rhetorically. “Of course not when you see the miracle he already accomplished yesterday, coming back after almost five months without a race and winning the queen stage.”

Final yellow may have eluded the team, but Andersen and Horner will both leave Utah satisfied with what the race brought.


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC