RadioShack-Leopard’s Chris Horner wins Vuelta a’ Espana at age 41

Not many pundits predicted that a Team Radio-Shack Leopard rider would win the 2013 Vuelta a’ Espana, the season’s final Grand Tour. No one predicted that the winner would be that team’s oldest rider, 41-year-old Chris Horner.
Chris Horner wins the Vuelta

Horner turns 42 next month, making him the oldest rider to win one of cycling’s three most prestigious races. He also won three stages, at the Vuelta, each time breaking the record for oldest rider to win a stage in a Grand Tour.

He did it with tremendous performances in the mountain stages, riding his Trek Madone 6.9 SSL road bike with panache rarely seen in riders his age.

His final margin over main rival Vincenzo Nibali of Italy was 37 seconds.

Horner is in the last year of his contract with the RadioShack team, which will transfer its UCI racing license to the new TrekWorld team in 2014.

His exploits at the Vuelta have excited the cycling world, but the big question remains about his ability to repeat his amazing performances at age 42-plus next season.

But for now, Chris Horner has shown the world that age is just a number: No. 1.


The Bike Lane Trek Tour de France Update

Team RadioShack-Leopard 2013

After the ninth stage of the 100th edition of Le Tour de France, it is a good time to see how Trek — the world’s best bicycle brand — is fairing at the world’s most-important cycling race.

The RadioShack-Leopard-Trek squad got into the mix early in the Tour with Jan Bakelants winning stage two by just one second and also  capturing the overall leader’s yellow jersey.  The team also took over the lead in the team classification. It was also the 27-year-old Belgian’s first time in the Tour and the first win in his five years as a pro racer.

“I see in the final that it’s going to happen and I knew I would probably also take this yellow jersey,” he said after the podium ceremony.  “I told myself, ‘Come on, hold this. It’s going to be the nicest day of your life!’ ”

Bakelants got the win riding a Trek Madone 7.9 with Bontrager components and Aelous wheels.
Trek Madone Project One Team Radio Shack

“It is so incredible for me to take this jersey and to give something back to the team after all the misery I’ve had this year,” he said. “When I crossed the finish line I was overwhelmed with joy.”

RadioShack-Leopard-Trek’s best placed rider going into the first rest day is Andy Schleck, 15th place overall, four minutes behind race leader Chris Froome of TeamSky.  He is riding a Trek Domane 6.9. The team is in fifth place in the Team Classification, 14:07 behind leader Movistar Team of Spain.

Andy’s brother Frank is sitting out a one-year ban from the World Anti-Doping Agency for using a banned diuretic in last year’s Tour.  Frank Schleck has not been asked to rejoin the team when his ban ends July 14.

Spartacus returns to the arena: 

Winning the Paris-Robaix

Spartacus celebrating his win at Paris-Robaix

Former world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara has announced that he has signed with Team Trek for the 2014 season.  The RadioShack-Leopard team ownership has sold its racing license to Trek Bicycle Co., effective January 1, 2014.  The Swiss time-trial and classics specialist extended his contract with the team for three years and expressed an interest in staying with the brand following his retirement from racing.  In the spring, he rode a Trek Domane 6.9 to victory in the two biggest cobblestone classics: the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) and Paris-Roubaix.

Luca Guercilena, who will remain as team manger, confirmed the news. “Fabian signed a contract for three years, to 2016,” he told website “With Trek we want to score especially in the classics. Fabian plays a crucial role, he is the heart of the team. Now that Fabian has chosen for Trek, we can start to talk and negotiate with the other riders. We hope to make a nice and great team with Trek.”
Fabian Cancellera