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“Who else are they going to bring as an American that's more popular than me? There is no one. If they want better exposure and more exciting racing, then they need to bring Airgas.”

Photo: Sirotti


31.05.2015 @ 14:43 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Chris Horner has not enjoyed his return to racing so far in the USA. While he has had good results, seventh overall in the Redlands Bicycle Classic, ninth in the Tour of the Gila, fourth in the Tour d’Azerdbaidjan and fifth in the national road race, he hasn’t been able to stamp his authority on those races like he hoped to. To make matters worse, his Airgas Safeway team were not invited to the Tour of California.


The team are still looking to receive an invite to both the Tour of Utah and USA Pro Challenge, team principle Chris Johnson revealed.


"I'm continuing to check in with them (the organisers)," said Airgas-Safeway principle Chris Johnson to Cyclingnews. "I'm on my best behaviour and my riders are riding strong, so I hope the combination of the two … With Utah it's tough, because Chris has been second there the last two years."


Horner himself can’t understand why he wouldn’t be invited to the Tour of California.


“I put on a show at all the races I've gone to. Even this year being sick, I'm still in the front group making the races exciting and stuff like that. Last year at Utah I was more sick than I have been all year, and I still put on a show there. Those races are perfect for me, Utah especially with the percentage of the climbs, how steep they are. It's fantastic for my style of riding, and the length of the courses is good for me too,” Horner told Cyclingnews.


“There is no other US rider that you can bring that's a bigger name than me or is more recognisable than me. So I would assume we’re going. But I assumed we were going to California, too. So I guess it's up to the organisers to decide. I never even second-guessed whether or not we were going to do California. I thought we were in from the get go.”


“Who else are they going to bring as an American that's more popular than me? There is no one. So if they want better exposure and they want more exciting racing, then they need to bring Airgas. Because that's the only way I'm going to show up.”


Horner has suffered health issues since he had a bad crash training for the 2014 Giro d’Italia when he rode for Lampre-Merida. He says those injuries are still hurting him today.


“The biggest problem has been the health part. The season's been fun when I'm hanging out with the team, because everybody's having a good time. It's just been difficult when we get into the racing and you're losing a little bit of that top-end speed that I'm used to having.”


He says that the way his health is just now, he cant ask the team to solely commit to working for him unless he is still feeling good deep into the races.


“Honestly, for me, I wouldn't even have the team working for me at the beginning of the race. It wouldn't be until maybe the middle of the race or the last 25 per cent of the race. If I still felt good at that point and time, then I'd tell the team, 'OK, everybody works for me.'”


He goes on to explain a bit more about his health condition, which many doctors have told him they aren’t sure exactly what the issue is, but some seem to think the 42 year old has chronic bronchitis.


“Basically, the condition I have, the doctors have called it a chronic bronchitis. None of them can tell me if I can get rid of it. Is it going to be gone? Is it six months? Is it one year? Is it going to be for the rest of life or whatever? The best I can get from a doctor so far is that I have chronic bronchitis.”


“It's such a small percentage of the lungs that's affected, but when you start breathing 10 or 20 times harder than a normal guy sitting in his office, you start to feel any loss of oxygen.”




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