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“I don’t ever get invited to the press conferences, so it’s nothing new. Maybe it’s because I’ve only won one grand tour. I guess you have to win five. I was just as surprised as you, but that’s happened...

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CHRISTOPHER HORNER

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15.03.2014 @ 12:25 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Chris Horner was surprised to be left out of the “Stars” Press Conference at Tirreno-Adriatico. 13 riders were called in including Contador, Uran and Kwiatkowski, but the 42-year-old American, winner of last year’s Vuelta, was not called in.

 

“I don’t ever get invited to the press conferences, so it’s nothing new,” Horner told VeloNews. “Maybe it’s because I’ve only won one grand tour. I guess you have to win five. I was just as surprised as you, but that’s happened my whole career, so it is what it is.”

He says he was free that day and was available if necessary: “I could’ve shown up if someone asked me.”

 

He was not invited to the 2011 Amgen Tour of California press conference and then went on to win the race, showing just how good he is in the weeklong stage races as well as the three-week ones.

 

RCS, the organisers of Tirreno, know him well as he wore the leaders jersey for a few days in 2012, before finishing second behind Vincenzo Nibali. He was an impressive sixth last year.

 

When he won the Vuelta last year, Horner became the oldest man to win a Grand Tour, wear a leaders jersey and win a stage.

 

“And I just finished [the Volta ao] Algarve eighth overall while working for my teammate,” said Horner. “They never invite me, though.”

 

In RCS’ defence, thay also didn’t invite Ivan Basso (Cannondale) and Michele Scarponi (Astana), both are winners of the Giro.

Horner lost 53 seconds when his Lampre-Merida team came 15th in the opening team time trial. But he is poised to strike over this weekend’s mountain stages.

 

“The team time trial really decides the race a lot,” Horner said. “The year I was second we went second on the team time trial, too, but I was ahead of all the favorites on the climbs, so it was simple. I had the best legs in the race for the climbing stages. Of course, Nibali’s legs were better all around.”

 

“The team time trial will decide the tactics we’ll play. Clearly, like last year, we have a Tour de France field here. It’s a quality field. You have the best ones in the world here. It’s going to make it fun and exciting. I hope to win something here.”

 

He admits that this year’s route is “not ideal” for him but he will do his best to get at least a stage victory.

 

“I’ve come close to winning it before, so clearly I can, but it’s not the best race for me because of all the time trials and just a small climb,” he said. “Clearly, the Volta a Catalunya is ideal for me and the Tour of the Basque Country (Vuelta al País Vasco) is beautiful for me too. But I have form here, so if I can get results, then great.”

 

The American says that not being invited to the press conference wont fuel his ride in the Race of the Two Seas. “I’d be racing every race 100 percent if I did that.” 

 

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