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Lampre-Merida team manager Brent Copeland called the signing "a good partnership" after Christopher Horner passed medical staff scrutiny

Photo: Sirotti

BADEN COOKE

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CHRISTOPHER HORNER

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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31.01.2014 @ 10:00 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

As it has been finally confirmed, that reigning Vuelta a Espana champion Christopher Horner will ride under the Lampre-Merida outfit in 2014 season, more detailed information is being given to the public opinion.

 

It was certain that a strategy taken by Horner’s new agent and former team-mate Baden Cooke of making the American a cheapest Grand Tour winner of the decade paid off and brought highly expected results, as several different aspects combined have made it very difficult to find a new team for the former RadioShack rider: his relatively advanced age, 42, a history of injuries, suspicion surrounding his potentially being one of the redacted riders from the USADA doping case against Lance Armstrong, and his demands for a salary befitting a Grand Tour champion.

 

Thus, Cooke was very pleased to make the final agreement happen, as he considered Horner a hard-working and exceptionally strong rider.

 

"Chris is one of the most hard working men in cycling, it would have been terrible had we not found him a top level team," Cooke told Cyclingnews.

 

"Lampre - Merida have been brilliant to work with and have added a very strong man to an already very strong team."

 

Despite all those circumstances certainly weighting against the 42-year old American, Lampre-Merida team manager Brent Copeland revealed that Horned has undergone thorough check-ups and the issue was further consulted with the technical staff and sponsors before the final decision has been made.

 

"I would say any rider's past injuries are always a concern for any team, Chris is in good condition at the moment and this is our main concern, the present and the future is our main focus and to make sure his condition stays in good form," Copeland said.

 

"The decision on Chris was made evaluating with sponsors, technical staff and medical staff, we came to the conclusion in all three areas that bringing Chris on board would be a good decision. This also means the medical staff have done their necessary check ups on his medical status, and as it stands today with all these three areas deciding to go ahead with him coming on board helped make the final decision."

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