Horner appears to confirm that he won’t be part of the new Trek team in 2014
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Horner appears to confirm that he won’t be part of the new Trek team in 2014

by Shane Stokes at 7:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Squad seeking clarification of Twitter comment prior to issuing reaction

Chris HornerAfter weeks of negotiations, Chris Horner appears to have given an indication that he won’t follow many of his current RadioShack Leopard team-mates across to the new Trek Factory Racing setup, but will instead head to a different, as yet unspecified, team.

Horner won the Vuelta a España over a month ago but struggled to get the offers that he believed he deserved. He said in several interviews that he felt he was undervalued and was holding out for a salary that he believed was warranted, giving his Vuelta a España win.

However given his age – he will turn 42 in six days’ time – plus the large number of teams folding and driving down the market value of riders, he experienced a scarcity of offers.

Earlier on Thursday a spokesman for the Trek Factory Racing team told VeloNation that there was still a chance that he would be part of the new setup in 2014.

“There’s nothing final to report yet but we're still hoping to work something out,” Eric Bjorling stated.

However Horner suggested via Twitter a short while ago that he would be leaving the fold. “Thanks to the staff, riders, and sponsors at @RSLT for a great four years. I'll be going somewhere else for 2014.”

Strictly speaking, every rider and staff member will be leaving the RadioShack Leopard setup as the team is stopping at the end of the season, but Horner’s tweet clearly appears to indicate a parting of ways with the riders and staff he worked alongside for several seasons.

VeloNation contacted Bjorling this evening for a response, but he has indicated that Trek won’t comment on what was termed an unconfirmed tweet. It is understood that a response will be issued when more information has become available.

Horner had a varied season in 2013, netting sixth early on in Tirreno Adriatico but straining muscles there and being sidelined for several months.

He eventually underwent an operation and then returned to racing in August. After netting second place plus a stage win in the Tour of Utah, he 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.

With the RadioShack Leopard team stopping at the end of this season and Horner being out of contract anyway, the question remained as to where he would race in 2014. He has indicated that he wants to do at least two more years, and has said that he believes he can continue to compete at a high level.

However he and his agent received few offers, and none at the salary level he was seeking. This led to the publication of his biological passport data last month, a show of transparency he hoped would quell any questions about his past teams and comments, plus his dramatic Vuelta victory at 41.

Still waiting to strike a deal, he wrote a stream of frustrated Tweets last week about the situation, pointing out what he had achieved and why he felt he deserved an offer.


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