Cooke blasts ‘cheap tactics’ of Christina Watches team in claiming agreement with Horner is close
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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cooke blasts ‘cheap tactics’ of Christina Watches team in claiming agreement with Horner is close

by VeloNation Press at 2:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Australian says several possibilities are being explored at present

Chris HornerResponding to media reports stating that Chris Horner is moving ever-closer to signing a deal with the Christina Watches team for this season, the rider’s representative Baden Cooke has described that team as availing of some ‘cheap tactics.’

“We are in talks with multiple teams including those in the World Tour. Christina Watches have made an offer, that’s it,” he stated today via his Twitter account.

Earlier today quoted the team’s general manager Claus Hembo as saying that the rider and the team were very close to concluding an agreement, and that an investor would cover the rider’s wage costs.

“The economic part is in place. We agreed the rider contract, we know the terms and we know what is expected in the personal agreement,” he said, explaining that under the arrangement, Horner would have a contract with the team and also a personal contract with the investor.

“Now Horner and the investor will meet and it is our hope that they can agree.”

He also said that a three year contract would be offered and, if the rider wished, that he could retire at the end of year two and be given a guaranteed job off the bike. Alternatively, he could keep racing until the end of 2016.

However his claims that a deal was very close to being finalised has been dismissed by Cooke, who makes clear that he and Horner are exploring several options, including a possible WorldTour slot.

Cooke retired from pro racing in November. He stated then that he intended to become a rider’s agent. However, while he is yet to undergo the mandatory UCI assessment and vetting needed to get a licence and act as an agent, he stated on January 10th that he was ‘representing’ Chris Horner in his search for a team.

Horner had previously been using Michael Rutherford as his agent, but the latter was unable to help him secure a deal for 2014. Several teams have suggested that the salary demands were too high for a rider of his age and in a market swamped by riders after several teams stopped.

Horner took his top career result in September when he bounced back from a season hampered by injury to win the Vuelta a España. He was 41 years of age at the time and his success made him the oldest Grand Tour victory in the history of cycling.

If he were ultimately to sign with Christina Watches, that team’s Continental status would mean that he would be unable to ride any of the Grand Tours. He would also be locked out of all .HC ranked events, with the exception of the Tour of Denmark.


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