Trek still leaves possibility open that Horner could join team
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Trek still leaves possibility open that Horner could join team

by Shane Stokes at 5:49 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
No indication as yet where Vuelta a España winner will compete

Chris HornerIt’s been over a month since he won the Vuelta a España but there is still no sign of Chris Horner finding a team for 2014. However although the Trek Factory Racing team has announced most of its riders for next season, it has left the possibility open that the American rider could yet be part of the setup.

“There’s nothing final to report yet but we're still hoping to work something out,” Trek spokesman Eric Bjorling told VeloNation today.

Horner had a mixed season in 2013, netting sixth in Tirreno Adriatico in March but then suffering a lingering injury which ruled him out of competition for several months and necessitated an operation.

He returned to racing in August and clocked up second place plus a stage win in the Tour of Utah, then went on to the Vuelta a España where he clocked up the best result of his career.

In addition to taking the overall victory in the race, he also won two stages plus the combination classification. In doing so, he became the oldest rider ever to win a Grand Tour stage, to lead a three week race and to win a Grand Tour.

He beat the previous age record set by Firmin Lambot when he won the 1922 Tour de France at the age of 36.

Horner will turn 42 years of age in six days’ time, but has indicated that he wants to race for at least two more years.

In a move to fend off questions about taking the best result of his career past forty years of age, Horner released his biological passport data last month. Despite his defence of Lance Armstrong in the past, including after the USADA reasoned decision was handed down, he has insisted that he has nothing to hide and that he is a clean rider.

Horner has struggled to get the offers he feels he deserves, with teams unwilling to pay what he and his agent are requiring. VeloNation understands that they have also contacted Pro Continental teams to enquire if there is interest in signing him.

Thus far, there is no indications about where he will compete next year. Trek’s statement shows that the door is not closed and that there may be some room for negotiation.

However in an environment where a number of teams have folded and the market is saturated with riders offering their services, it seems increasingly unlikely that Horner will get the salary he has been pushing for.

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