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Stepping up - The Chris Horner diary
From being the USA's top domestic rider for several years to riding for a ProTour team in the Tour de France, Chris Horner is always on the up.
A talented all-rounder, Chris had a successful year Saunier Duval-Prodir in 2005, and is now riding for Davitamon-Lotto. As one of the team's key men in the Vuelta, Horner will be detailing his progress in this special diary for Cyclingnews during the race.
September 7: Karma?
Today was a really hard day for me. A good break went early in the race, and since I missed it, I decided to bridge across. I was the last guy to get across, but I had to go to a dark, dark place of suffering to make it. I was going across at 65 km/h, and just barely made it. I was only 20 m off the back, and was about to sit up and give up the fight, but then they eased off just a bit and I made it.
The field let us go, and I thought we were set, but then three teams missed it and started to chase. One team was honestly chasing because their director was making them – as punishment for missing the break. WHAT???? I was scarred – that was my MOVE. I had been waiting the whole Vuelta for that chance and to have teams chase it for no reason, was painful. What made it even worse was that the same teams missed the next break, but they let that one go. Damn the luck. Guess that’s karma, paying me back for being a jackass yesterday… Ouch.
Anyway, we drilled it in the break for 20 km, but got caught and I was cooked after that. We had two guys in the next break, so it worked out well. Poor Bart suffered at the hands of the Italian Mafia, with one Italian attacking solo near the end, and when Bart tried to get up to him, Bettini sat on him all the way to the finish. But second is a great finish, so it worked out okay.
Today was definitely the full range of racing – we had hills, wind, sun, storms, hot, cold, fast, slow, everything. It was real bike racing today. With some long transfers thrown in, too, of course to make the day complete.
Tomorrow is going to be another rolling stage, which means it'll be another good chance for a break to go the distance. Hopefully I can be in the right one this time. One of these days it'll work out.
Thanks for reading,