Thursday, October 3, 2013

Horner Heading Home to Bend Following Crash at World Champs

Posted By on Thu, Oct 3, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Horner is the man.
  • Horner is the man.

Bend's Chris Horner, who, following his impressive late-summer win at the Vuelta a Espana recently became the oldest rider to capture a grand tour title, is out for the rest of the season. Horner, 41, broke his ribs in a crash at Sunday's rain-soaked world championships road race in Florence and, like 70 percent of the field, failed to finish the race. He will miss Italy's II Lombari, which starts this weekend and, later this month, China's Tour of Beijing.

After his win in Spain, Horner made headlines again when he released his biological passport data (documented information kept by the sport's governing body that keeps track of a rider's blood values year-in and year-out in order to spotlight sudden jumps that would indicate blood-doping) in response to naysayers who questioned his performance. While blood values can change month to month, it's interesting to note that based on his passport, his hematocrit levels in 2008 (45%) were lower than in 2013 (41.6%), the year in which he had the race of his life. Hematocrit is an indicator of one's oxygen carrying capacity, which affect overall endurance.

Surprisingly, even after Horner's win in Spain against the world's best climbers, the Bend rider still has not secured a contract for next season. It's expected he will sign something with Trek, one of his current team's major sponsors. Trek stands to take over as title sponsor of the RadioShack-Leopard-Trek team next year.

For now, Horner is heading back to Bend to rest and rehab. Don't be surprised if you see the wily vet sign up for some regional and national-level cyclocross races—he's a damn good bike handler and a competitive 'cross racer.

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