No Chris Horner in 2013 Amgen Tour of California

10/05/2013  //     //  Road Bike, Road Bike News

2011 Amgen Tour of California champion Chris Horner will not be able to

take the start in Escondido on May 12th. Horner still suffers from his
knee problem. Pain and lack of condition make it impossible to compete
at the highest level.

Chris Horner suffers from an iliotibial band friction syndrome since
the end of Tirreno-Adriatico. The pain forced him to abandon in the Tour
of Catalunya and made it impossible for him to start in the Tour of the
Basque Country. Despite many treatments Horner still has pain at the
outside of his left knee.

“So far the doctors have been optimistic about my knee problem, but as
soon as I started training, the pain came back,” explains Chris Horner.
“The last time that I was on the bike for more than four hours was in
Catalunya. There is no way I can race now. All of my condition is gone.
After Catalunya I was off the bike for four weeks.”

This week Horner will visit a specialist in Scottsdale, Arizona. “It is
possible I have an alignment problem. We will examine all
possibilities. I want to race again. All of the doctors I have visited
are optimistic that it will heal again, but it just needs time. The
problem is that nobody is able to tell me how much time I need. This is
not a collar bone fracture-like injury, where you can say exactly how
much time you need to recover. My injury is more difficult. I can ride
my bike but after two hours the pain returns.”

“This is such bad news for me,” continued Horner. “As the 2011 winner
of this race I want to be there. Moreover, I live in San Diego, just 20
minutes from the team hotel. I will visit the team, but it will be with
mixed feelings. It all hurts as I was so good in the early season. In
Tirreno-Adriatico I was as good as the best riders in the world.”

With the withdrawal of Chris, RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK loses its leader
for the Amgen Tour of California. “With former US Champion Matthew
Busche we have a good alternative,” explains Team Director Alain
Gallopin. “Matthew was impressive the last two years in this race, and
he is ready again. We will try to get him on the podium. Furthermore I
am convinced we will see something from Andy Schleck. He continues his
comeback and is motivated and ready to show something. Haimar Zubeldia,
sixth in last year’s Tour de France, will also be in the front the
coming week and with riders like Bob Jungels we can try to win a stage.
If Peter Sagan will give us that opportunity…,” Gallopin concluded with a
smile.

For Chris Horner it is impossible to predict when he will be able to
race again. “My best guess is the Tour de Suisse,” concludes Horner.
“And then hopefully the Tour de France. The season is not over yet,
there are still good races left, but this situation is heartbreaking for
me.”

Team RadioShack Leopard Trek line-up for the Amgen Tour of California (USA), May 12-19, UCI 2.HC

Riders: Matthew Busche, Laurent Didier, Markel Irizar, Bob Jungels, Ben King, Andy Schleck, Jens Voigt & Haimar Zubeldia

Directors: Alain Gallopin & Kim Andersen

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