I've always liked Chris Horner. Ever since he showed me many years ago at the Downers Grove Criterium that I hadn't anything on a euro-pro no matter how much I dreamed I might. He was moving from front to back of the Pro-Am race like it was some kind of Sunday morning group ride for uber clydesdales. I was at my limit hanging on watching Chris effortlessly make me feel like a two bit pretender. I finished with my lungs completely turned inside out wondering how I barely survived the last two laps and Horner was pretty much fresh as a daisy chatting with some other mates. He made it look easy. That pretty much marked the end of my life as a "results" racer and ushered in the era of the racer for "good times".
Anyway, I came across this at Cyclingnews. It reinforces my opinion of Chris as one of the PRO peloton's finer gentleman.
Horner on Lance leaving
Chris Horner has never been shy about his opinions regarding Lance Armstrong in the past. And when he heard the news about Tailwind Sports ending its search for a new sponsor, he had some hard-hitting analysis of Armstrong's and the company's decision.
"I read what Lance has said about the sport, and it is just ridiculous to read something so stupid, from a guy who has made his career off the sport. Now they can't find a sponsor and say they are pulling out just because they don't want to look for one? I don't believe it. You tell me Lance is giving up money? He raced his whole career looking for it, because he was a businessman more than the love of the sport. Now he is telling us that it isn't a good place for the sport so we are pulling out. Are you really telling me that?
"All it is is he can't find a sponsor. Instead he's saying, 'I'm Lance Armstrong, I finally couldn't accomplish something so we're pulling out instead.' If I'm wrong, prove me wrong Lance -- go out and find a sponsor! Instead it was 'we're leaving, I don't like the sport anymore'. No, just leave and get out. I'm sorry if those weren't his exact words, but if what I am reading is, then it is ridiculous and irresponsible."
"It makes it a bit tougher for guys like myself, but at the same time I don't see that too many of those guys affect me. But some riders might not have jobs next year, assuming that more teams don't come in. Or they won't be with a ProTour team. That's a possibility, and that might be me too! Because Lance wants to get out of the sport he is going to unemploy half of his team. Personal opinion again, but that has to be the biggest bullshit story I have ever read!"
"All these people can say what they want about the sport going downhill right now... are they crazy? Were they not in London? Did Lance forget about it? How do you make those comments when you saw what happened there? To have a start and stage there, plus the stage in Belgium, that alone justifies the money to have a ProTour team. Nothing else even matters! Take those first three days of the Tour de France, and it automatically proves Lance wrong. Undeniable fact! I don't care what anybody wants to come back and say how much they love Lance, it's an undeniable fact that the first three days make it worth it. That's not even counting the people watching it on TV around the world! That is just the people who came out. In London they had Wimbledon, a huge concert event, Formula 1... and we did 125 miles the first day and there weren't 10 miles of a gap where if you stopped you wouldn't have been peeing on someone's foot!"
"Anyone whose job is to look at sports and find where best to put your money, and says it's not in cycling, has never been to a cycling event. Or maybe he went to Valley of the Sun! Maybe someone can go back and look at the different sponsors of Tour de France teams and prove to me they lost money from advertising at some point, but I don't think so. $3-7 million dollars for a sponsorship, and you cannot tell me it doesn't justify what the Tour de France brought you -- just the first three days! Anyone who prints what they want in USA Today or wherever has never been the Tour de France before or any race of value. Or is a complete idiot... probably the latter."Photo credit: Cyclingnews