Chris Horner is riding so well at the Vuelta a’ Espana (Tour of Spain) that he’s even beating himself: On Tuesday, he won the 10th stage of the year’s final Grand Tour and was back on the podium getting yet another race leader’s red jersey.
That win also made him, at 41, the oldest rider to win a stage in a Grand Tour. He broke his own record set a week before in Stage 3.
More importantly, he put valuable time between himself and Vuelta favorites Vincenzo Nibali (48 seconds), and Alejandro Valverde (1:02.)
“There’s really nothing I can say or do to satisfy everyone,” he told VeloNews’ Andy Hood after the stage win. “At 41, I know people will have their doubts. There’s no way to convince everyone. I’m 41 years old, I’m the leader of the Vuelta. People can believe it or not.”
Horner was not implicated in the Armstrong doping investigations and insists he never saw or heard of team doping while on other teams managed by disgraced director sportif Johan Bruyneel. “I have never seen doping on one of the Bruyneel teams, from Astana to RadioShack,” he said. “It’s just disappointing, everything you read.”
Horner has not been offered a contract with the 2014 Trek WorldTeam that will take over the current RadioShack-Leopard-Trek team license. If he hangs on to win or even make the final podium in the Vuelta, he could have a number of potential suitors eager to sign him despite –- or perhaps because of -– his age.