Local boy and veteran of the peloton Chris Horner, 40, finished the Tour a very respectable 13th, 19 minutes and 55 seconds down from winner Bradley Wiggins. Horner's strong riding helped RadioShack-Nissan secure the teams classification overall win.
The Bend native, along with fellow American and elder statesmen of the peloton George Hincapie (who's retiring this year), were honored on the final day and allowed to lead the tired pack across the finish line as the racers hit Paris' famed Champs Elysees.
This Tour wasn't all roses for Horner, though.
When his teammate and good friend, Frank Schleck, was tossed from the race for a positive doping test, Horner sounded off. Here's an excerpt. Thought provoking.
From a recent Velo News article:
“During this Tour de France, I probably took 30 Cokes and 30 bottles from guys on the side of the road that I don’t have any idea who they are. And I drank them anyways,” Horner said, sitting on the road after the mountaintop finish of stage 17.
With no assurance of clean food and drink while racing and traveling, many of the peloton's most respected riders are fearful that they'll be next. Professional bike racers are among the most tested athletes in the world and must regularly submit to both random tests and in-competition tests. We may never know if Contador and Schleck knowingly ingested banned substances. But one thing is certain—WADA needs an overhaul.
In the mean time, expect to see Horner continue to race and train as he preps for next year's Tour de France.