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Mt Hood Classic
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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.

Index to all entries

August 29: Calm before the storm

Hi again! Today's stage could be considered the calm before the storm - the "easy" stage before we hit some serious climbing (read, pain and suffering) tomorrow! At "only" 142 km, today's stage was MUCH shorter - thankfully - than yesterday, but with the temps hanging out well above 40 Celsius - still hot as hell!

Pre-race at Stage 4
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Once again, one of the poor boys from the only Continental team in the race, Relax-Gam, spent a long, lonely day in front on a solo break. Can't help but feeling sorry for those guys - while at the same time being grateful that it's not me out there suffering alone all day - especially the day before we hit the mountains!! But I guess the one up side to it all would be that it'd be a lot easier to get bottles if the car can come right up next to you, instead of having to wander through the caravan to find the team car a million times during the day! I still don't think that would make up for it, though…

Anyway, once again, it was a day for the sprinters. It was a status quo field sprint, which Zabel won. Now I'm at our hotel - a cool little place outside of town - sitting on the deck, watching the sunset and enjoying the evening. A little peace and quiet can be hard to come by in a grand tour, so I'm taking full advantage of it!

Tomorrow, all hell breaks loose, and by the end of the day, those left standing will be the riders who will be fighting it out for GC in the coming weeks. Should be a good race! Stay tuned for the excitement! Thanks for reading!

Stage 4 results