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"I go to the Vuelta for the win. That's for sure. Once you've won before, that’s all you want. It’s a race that’s designed for my type of riding," Christopher Horner said.

Photo: Sirotti

CHRISTOPHER HORNER

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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29.07.2014 @ 11:00 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Christopher Horner’s ability to recover following his serious training crash in May surprised even his own team, as well as his gradually increasing disposition during the 101st edition of the Tour de France, where he thought back bronchitis to underline his presence in Pyrenean mountain stages.

 

A fair number of serious injuries, including punctured lung, broken ribs and multiple cuts and bruises obviously forced Horner out of the Giro d’Italia where he was expected to be the Lampre-Merida captain, and to significantly change his race programme for the latter of 2014 season.

 

The 42-year old American recovered quickly enough to appear in the French grand tour in a role of Rui Costa’s loyal lieutenant before the Portuguese rider abandoned the race due to an onset pneumonia, and pleased with his increasing condition announced his return to the Vuelta a Espana with only one goal: defending his title won last season.

 

"I'm still lacking some power so once I saw Nibali with me I thought I would be towing him before he jumps me," Horner told reporters.

 

"Of course, as soon as I dropped down in speed a little bit he went by me like a bullet. After that, I thought it was time to save it for the Vuelta."

 

"It's been an amazing Tour for me given the circumstances when I was in the emergency room with a punctured lung and broken ribs, all that kind of stuff," he said. "For me, it's a fabulous Tour. Am I happy? No, because I won a Grand Tour last year and I want to do better but when you step outside the body you know it's a fabulous ride. I'm going to make it to the end of the Tour. It’s an amazing performance. It’s not the one I wanted but it’s still amazing."

 

Before it happens, however, Horner plans to return home to recover and slowly fine-tune his form for his season’s greatest objective.

 

"I'll come back for Spain and be a lot fitter, a lot healthier and I'll see if I can win again," he told Cyclingnews.

 

"I have to go back to the US and recover, and maybe now I'll just do the Tour of Utah for training. If they race really fast there, maybe I'll drop off because I need to rest next week. Then I'll look to come into Spain a little bit lighter, a lot fitter and 100 per cent healthy."

 

"I go to the Vuelta for the win. That's for sure. Once you've won before, that’s all you want. It’s a race that’s designed for my type of riding," he said.

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