Chris Horner wasn’t bluffing. On Monday, I posted Chris Horner Tells It Like It Is. He’s a guy that’s always been a straight-shooter and on the eve of the Tour of California start he called it – claiming that he was sitting on “exceptional form,” maybe the best of his life. His short list of potential winners was Levi Leipheimer, Andy Schleck, and himself. This is basically the pro bike racer’s version of stepping up to the plate and pointing to the left field wall. He’s calling his shot.
The Tour of California is far from over but on today’s stage into San Jose, Horner made solid contact with the ball and it’s headed for the wall. On the final climb up Sierra Road, it looked like Horner was setting pace for Leipheimer as they distanced themselves from the already decimated pack. Then Horner was alone. Leipheimer simply couldn’t hold his wheel. Horner didn’t so much attack as he rode away from Leipheimer and the rest of the field, easy as you please. In the end, Horner finished with a gap of 1:15. Significant in that this is a race in which the overall winner historically wins by a margin of less than a minute.
Experts say that as we get older, the body’s ability to go hard doesn’t diminish as much as it’s ability to recover from those hard efforts. At 39 years of age (6 weeks younger than Jens Voigt, the oldest rider in the race), the next few days will tell if Horner’s hit will indeed be a home run or fall short.
But he’s calling his shot again. On Wednesday in a Velonews report he claimed that Alberto Contador is the only rider in the world that is capable of dropping him on a climb! He also stated that he would continue to drop the rest of the TOC field on this year’s major climbs. You can read that article HERE. It’s worth it.
Horner’s daily blog is HERE. Hard to believe that a rider of his stature has the time to post daily, but he does it. He also has a daily video diary/interview with Bicycling.com. You can check that out HERE.