Chris Horner, Team Astana and the Tour de France

Many people are upset that Chris Horner was passed over when Team Astana selected the Tour de France team. I can’t imagine the extreme disappointment that Horner felt. He asked to be released from Astana so he could try to join another team’s squad, but Astana’s team director Johan Bruyneel denied him.

Steve Hill has his commentary and links out to more articles. See also Velonews: Horner left off Astana Tour roster.

The Tour de France 2009 begins this weekend.

10 Comments

  • Principled Pragmatist
    June 29, 2009 - 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I'm disappointed that Bruyneel did not find a way to resolve the Contador/Armstrong conflict prior to the Tour. AC has said that he considers teammates LA (and Levi) to be competition. LA has notably not mentioned AC in his tweets for months, not even a congrats for winning the Spanish TT. Despite JB declaring AC to be the team leader, per his tweets, LA is obviously focused on winning the GC himself, considering all the TT preparations and now mountains recon he is doing. That divides the team. Cadel, Carlos and Denis are loving it, I'm sure.

  • Principled Pragmatist
    June 29, 2009 - 11:27 am | Permalink

    I'm disappointed that Bruyneel did not find a way to resolve the Contador/Armstrong conflict prior to the Tour. AC has said that he considers teammates LA (and Levi) to be competition. LA has notably not mentioned AC in his tweets for months, not even a congrats for winning the Spanish TT. Despite JB declaring AC to be the team leader, per his tweets, LA is obviously focused on winning the GC himself, considering all the TT preparations and now mountains recon he is doing. That divides the team. Cadel, Carlos and Denis are loving it, I'm sure.

  • bikesgonewild
    June 29, 2009 - 8:12 pm | Permalink

    …personally, after all the hoopla, i feel that if a guy of lance's age can get his well tested ass to paris in a shorter amount of time than anyone else in what will undoubtedly be a highly competitive race, i'm all for it……i just wish chris horner was gonna be there for him…alberto contador will not only have astana riders at his disposal but alliances have already been forged w/ other spanish riders who are capable of strong rides but not necessarily the overall……& if armstrong really doesn't have it, he will ride to assure an astana win…guaranteed…

  • bikesgonewild
    June 29, 2009 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

    …personally, after all the hoopla, i feel that if a guy of lance's age can get his well tested ass to paris in a shorter amount of time than anyone else in what will undoubtedly be a highly competitive race, i'm all for it…

    …i just wish chris horner was gonna be there for him…alberto contador will not only have astana riders at his disposal but alliances have already been forged w/ other spanish riders who are capable of strong rides but not necessarily the overall…

    …& if armstrong really doesn't have it, he will ride to assure an astana win…guaranteed…

  • Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 - 9:28 pm | Permalink

    I'm not really surprised. You can't have a tour team with a bunch of skinny GC guys and nobody to pull on the flats. In my view, Horner lost his spot to any one of Lance, Levi, Kloden, Zubeldia, or Popo (the GC type of guys), not to Paulinho. (Horner himself said he's skinnier than ever–137lbs rather than 150lbs.) Also, Horner's condition is a wildcard because of the crash/injury from the Giro. It seems possible that if Horner had not crashed in the Giro, he'd be going to the Tour rather than Popo, but with the crash and already having too many GC guys, Horner's chances were super slim to none.

  • Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 - 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I'm not really surprised. You can't have a tour team with a bunch of skinny GC guys and nobody to pull on the flats. In my view, Horner lost his spot to any one of Lance, Levi, Kloden, Zubeldia, or Popo (the GC type of guys), not to Paulinho. (Horner himself said he's skinnier than ever–137lbs rather than 150lbs.) Also, Horner's condition is a wildcard because of the crash/injury from the Giro. It seems possible that if Horner had not crashed in the Giro, he'd be going to the Tour rather than Popo, but with the crash and already having too many GC guys, Horner's chances were super slim to none.

  • bikesgonewild
    June 29, 2009 - 9:30 pm | Permalink

    …post script:– hokey, but funny & kinda cool is a link from lance's twitter thingy (sheesh…said i never do twitter reads) wherein he's training today on the col du columbiere & encounters an american dad & his 8 year old son liam, bedecked in livestrong kit, climbing the col……gotta be a thrill for a kid when ol' lance hisself rides up, slows down & talks w/ you…

  • bikesgonewild
    June 29, 2009 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

    …post script:– hokey, but funny & kinda cool is a link from lance's twitter thingy (sheesh…said i never do twitter reads) wherein he's training today on the col du columbiere & encounters an american dad & his 8 year old son liam, bedecked in livestrong kit, climbing the col…

    …gotta be a thrill for a kid when ol' lance hisself rides up, slows down & talks w/ you…

  • Yokota Fritz
    June 29, 2009 - 11:01 pm | Permalink

    @BGW: I missed that earlier, thanks for pointing out. That video is so cool! Even the dad was super stoked, I'm sure!

  • Yokota Fritz
    June 29, 2009 - 4:01 pm | Permalink

    @BGW: I missed that earlier, thanks for pointing out. That video is so cool! Even the dad was super stoked, I'm sure!

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