Chris Horner

For other people named Christopher Horner, see Christopher Horner (disambiguation).
Chris Horner

Personal information
Full name Christopher Lee Horner
Nickname The Hornet, The Second Best Climber in the World[1]
Born (1971-10-23) October 23, 1971
Okinawa, Japan
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[2]
Weight 70 kg (150 lb; 11 st)[2]
Team information
Current team Lupus Racing Team
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type All-rounder
Amateur team(s)
1994 Lite Beer
1995-1996 Nutra Fig
Professional team(s)
1997–1999 Française des Jeux
2000–2001 Mercury
2002 Prime Alliance
2003 Saturn
2004 Webcor Builders
2005 Saunier Duval–Prodir
2006–2007 Davitamon–Lotto
2008–2009 Astana
2010–2011 Team RadioShack
2012–2013 RadioShack–Nissan
2014 Lampre–Merida
2015 Airgas-Safeway
2016– Lupus Racing Team
Major wins

Grand Tours

Vuelta a España
General classification (2013)
Combination classification (2013)
2 individual stages (2013)

Stage races

Tour de Langkawi (2000)
Tour de Georgia (2003)
Tour of the Basque Country (2010)
Tour of California (2011)
Infobox last updated on
February 6, 2016

Christopher Lee "Chris" Horner (born October 23, 1971) is an American professional road racing cyclist, who currently rides for UCI Continental team Lupus Racing Team.[3] A current resident of Bend, Oregon,[4] Horner has dominated the American road racing scene by winning the points standings in the 2002, 2003 and 2004 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar.[5] He won the Vuelta a España in 2013, becoming the oldest winner of any of cycling's grand tours in the process.[6]


PAA-NutraFig (1995–96)

Horner turned pro in 1995 with the PAA-NutraFig team.[7] He captured his first major victory in a stage win of the Tour DuPont in 1996.

Française des Jeux (1997–99)

He was then asked to ride in Europe with French team Française des Jeux. From 1997 to 1999 he had three frustrating seasons with this team.

Mercury, Prime Alliance, Saturn, and Webcor (2000–2004)

In 2000 Horner returned to America to resume a record-setting domestic career, riding with Mercury in 2000, Prime Alliance in 2002, Saturn in 2003 and Webcor Builders in 2004. Horner has won almost every important race in the US racing calendar, with the notable exception of the USPRO National Championships.

Saunier-Duval (2004–05)

Horner decided to move to Saunier Duval–Prodir after his top-ten finish in the 2004 UCI World Road Cycling Championship because he wanted to give the Tour de France a try. After being injured in the beginning of 2005, Horner showed strong performance in the USPRO Championships and won his first major European victory by taking the sixth stage of the 2005 Tour de Suisse. He then earned his place on the 2005 Tour de France team and nearly won the Miramas to Montpellier stage when he and Sylvain Chavanel refused to cooperate in the final kilometers and were caught by the peloton.

Davitamon and Predictor (2006–07)

He made a move to the Belgian UCI ProTour squad Davitamon–Lotto for the 2006 season.

For 2007 Horner signed with Ed Krall Racing for the cyclo-cross season.

Astana (2008–09)

In 2008 Horner moved to Astana. Horner earned the nickname "The smiler" for his unflappable expression of happiness, even during the most excruciating physical challenges, and "The Yahoo Kid" for his wild exclamations after winning a race. Teammates Levi Leipheimer and Lance Armstrong call him "The Redneck".

In the 2008 Cascade Cycling Classic Horner carried racer Bill Demong (who was from another team) with his broken bicycle to the finish line.[8][9]

RadioShack (2010–11)

Horner won the fourth stage of the 2011 Tour of California, before taking overall victory.

On October 4, 2009 it was confirmed that Horner would compete for Team RadioShack in the next two seasons.[10] In one of his strongest European campaigns, Horner garnered first overall at the Euskal Herriko Itzulia (Tour of the Basque Country), including a stage win in the critical 6th stage ITT, defeating overall threat Alejandro Valverde. Horner also achieved several top 10 placings in the Spring classics of the Fleche Wallone, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Amstel Gold. He and his RadioShack teammates did well at the 2010 Tour of California, with Horner putting on a particularly strong performance in the last stage of the race as a member of a final breakaway at Thousand Oaks. Horner finished fourth overall, 1 min 4 sec behind winner Michael Rogers, and just 39 seconds behind teammate Levi Leipheimer in overall time. His good form also resulted in a 9th place overall at the Tour de France, as the first-placed US rider, in spite of dedicating himself in the first stages to supporting his captain Lance Armstrong.

In 2011 Horner continued his success at Pais Vasco with a second-place finish, as well as 4th in Catalunya.

Horner then accomplished the highest-profile result up to that time by winning the May 2011 Tour de California stage race. He scored a major solo victory on the 4th stage, after making significant time gains on the day's final mountain finish in San Jose. He maintained his hold on the yellow jersey until the tour's queen stage, where he completed a two-man breakaway finish with teammate Levi Leipheimer to finalize the overall lead, and at age 39 became the oldest rider in history to win that tour.[11][12]

His participation at the 2011 Tour de France was short lived after a crash left him out of the competition.

RadioShack-Nissan (2012–2013)

In 2012, Horner signed with RadioShack-Nissan. He started the 2012 Tirreno–Adriatico as his first race since July where he finished second after losing his lead in the final time trial to Vincenzo Nibali. He then finished 8th in the 2012 Tour of California, failing to defend his title. He then rode the 2012 Tour de France where he ended up finishing 13th overall after putting a good performance in the mountains.

After suffering an injury in the beginning of 2013, Horner returned to action after winning stage 5 in the 2013 Tour of Utah and finishing 2nd overall. Less than three weeks later, in stage 3 of the 2013 Vuelta a España, Horner attacked over the last kilometer to win the stage and take the overall lead in the race. By doing this, he became the oldest rider in history (41 years and 307 days) who won a stage and wore the leader's jersey in a Grand Tour.[13] He won again in the stage 10, another uphill finish, reclaiming the lead.[14] and setting a new record of the oldest rider (41 years and 314 days) to win a stage in a Grand Tour. Chris's success at that race continued and he won the 2013 Vuelta a España on the 15 September 2013, the oldest ever Grand Tour winner.[15][16] “I’ve been a professional for almost 20 years so this represents a lifetime of hard work. A Grand Tour is always a goal for a cyclist to show how good a rider you are. The memories will last forever and the riders I came with were amazing and my team has been fantastic," Horner said after the victory. [17]

He left RadioShack–Leopard at the end of the season, as his contract expired. He felt he was worth more than the team were willing to offer for a rider of his resume and ability.

Lampre-Merida (2014)

Horner joined Lampre–Merida for the 2014 season.[18] In April, while training in Italy for the 2014 Giro d'Italia, he was hit by a car driver who subsequently fled the scene. Horner suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs in the accident, jeopardizing his participation[19] at the 2014 Giro d'Italia.

On 30 June 2014, Horner was named in Lampre's 2014 Tour de France squad, with Rui Costa as team leader.[20]

He placed second in the mountainous Tour of Utah[21] which he raced in preparation for the 2014 Vuelta a España. However, Horner withdrew from the Vuelta ahead of the first stage due to his cortisol levels dropping below the threshold considered healthy by the Mouvement pour un cyclisme crédible, of which Lampre-Mérida is a member. The announcement followed Horner's usage of cortisone on prescription under a therapeutic use exemption to treat a case of bronchitis.[22]

Lampre-Mérida opted not to extend Horner's contract, and in December 2014 he announced he had signed a deal with UCI Continental team Airgas-Safeway for 2015.[3]

Career achievements

Major results

1st, Lancaster Classic
1st, Stage 1, Tour DuPont
2nd, Overall, Redlands Bicycle Classic
3rd, Overall, Fitchburg Longsjo Classic
3rd, National Road Race Championships
3rd, GP Ouest-France
3rd, Nevada City Classic
9th, Overall, Circuit des Mines
1st, Overall, Tour de Langkawi
1st, Overall, Redlands Bicycle Classic
5th, Overall, Redlands Bicycle Classic
1st, Stage 5
2nd, Overall, Cascade Cycling Classic
1st, Stage 3
1st, USA Cycling National Racing Calendar
1st, Overall, Redlands Bicycle Classic
1st, Stages 1 & 2
1st, Overall, Sea Otter Classic
1st, Stage 3
1st, Overall, Nature Valley Grand Prix
1st, Stage 3
1st, Overall, Fitchburg Longsjo Classic
2nd, National Time Trial Championships
3rd, Overall, Cascade Cycling Classic
1st, USA Cycling National Racing Calendar
1st, Overall, Tour de Georgia
1st, Mountains classification
1st, Overall, Redlands Bicycle Classic
1st, San Francisco Grand Prix
1st, Stage 4, Cascade Cycling Classic
2nd, Overall, Fitchburg Longsjo Classic
1st, Stages 2 & 3
2nd, National Criterium Championships
1st, USA Cycling National Racing Calendar
1st, Overall, Sea Otter Classic
1st, Stage 2
1st, Overall, Redlands Bicycle Classic
1st, Stages 1a, 1b & 2
1st, Overall, International Tour de Toona
3rd, Overall, Tour de Georgia
8th, UCI World Road Race Championships
5th, Overall, Tour de Suisse
1st, Stage 6
3rd, National Road Race Championships
7th, Overall, Tour de Romandie
1st, Stage 2
8th, Liège–Bastogne–Liège
10th, Overall, Paris–Nice
3rd, Giro dell'Emilia
5th, Overall, Tour de Romandie
10th, Giro di Lombardia
15th, Overall, Tour de France
7th, Giro di Lombardia
2nd, Overall, Tour de l'Ain
1st, Points classification
1st, Overall, Vuelta al País Vasco
1st, Stage 6 (ITT)
2nd, Overall, Giro di Sardegna
4th, Overall, Tour of California
4th, National Road Race Championships
7th, La Flèche Wallonne
7th, Liège–Bastogne–Liège
9th, Overall, Critérium du Dauphiné
9th, Overall, Tour de France
10th, Amstel Gold Race
1st, Overall, Tour of California
1st, Stage 4
2nd, Overall, Vuelta al País Vasco
4th, Overall, Volta a Catalunya
2nd, Overall, Tirreno–Adriatico
7th, Overall, Tour of Utah
8th, Overall, Tour of California
9th, Overall, Vuelta al País Vasco
13th, Overall, Tour de France
1st, Overall, Vuelta a España
1st, Combination classification
1st, Stages 3 & 10
2nd, Overall, Tour of Utah
1st, Stage 5
6th, Overall, Tirreno–Adriatico
2nd, Overall, Tour of Utah
8th, Overall, Volta ao Algarve
17th, Overall, Tour de France
4th Overall Tour d'Azerbaïdjan
5th National Road Race Championships[23]
7th, Overall, Redlands Bicycle Classic[24]
5th, Overall, Tour of Utah
9th, Overall, Tour of the Gila
9th, Overall, Tour of the Gila
15th, Overall, Tour of Utah

Grand Tour general classification results timeline

Grand Tour 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Pink jersey Giro         WD          
Yellow jersey Tour 33 61 14     9 WD 13   17
golden jersey Vuelta 20 36   WD       1  

Withdrew = WD; In Progress = IP

Other major stage races

Race 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Paris–Nice               10 24     49        
Tirreno–Adriatico             DNS             2 6 DNS
Volta a Catalunya                   58     3   DNS DNS
Tour of the Basque Country               31 DNF 41 DNF 1 2 9    
Tour de Romandie     93         7 5              
Critérium du Dauphiné               34   DNF   9        
Tour de Suisse DNF DNF         5   42              


  1. Clarke, Stuart (5 November 2015). "13 of the strangest nicknames in cycling". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. 1 2 "Christopher Horner profile".
  3. 1 2 "Chris Horner signs with Airgas-Safeway". VeloNews. Competitor Group, Inc. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  4. USA Cycling biography Archived July 18, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. "Tooting his own Horner – Part I". Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  6. "BBC Sport - Vuelta a Espana: Chris Horner, 41, is oldest Grand Tour winner". 2013-09-15. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  7. Chris Horner
  8. "Chris Horner Gives Fallen Rider (and bike) a 2k Ride to the Finish". Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  9. Swift, Heidi (August 16, 2008). "Chris Horner proves why he's the people's pro". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
  10. "Horner signs on with RadioShack for two years",, 2009-09-04. Retrieved on 2009-10-02.
  11. Kirsten Frattini (May 23, 2011). "Horner 100 Per Cent Focused On Tour De France After California Victory".
  12. "Horner, 39, oldest to win Tour of California". The San Francisco Chronicle. May 23, 2011.
  13. Alasdair Fotheringham (26 August 2013). "Horner makes history with stage win, lead in Vuelta a España". Future plc. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  14. Andrew Hood (2 September 2013). "Horner retakes lead, electrifies Vuelta". VeloNews. Competitor Group, Inc. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  15. "Vuelta a Espana: Chris Horner, 41, is oldest Grand Tour winner". BBC Sport. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  16. "Chris Horner wins 2013 Vuelta a Espana". Cycling News. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  17. "RadioShack-Leopard's Chris Horner, 41, becomes oldest ever grand tour winner". Daily Telegraph. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  18. Farrand, Stephen (30 January 2014). "Horner signs with Lampre-Merida". Future plc. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  19. Brown, Gregor (13 April 2014). "Lampre reveals more details of Horner accident, Tour comeback possible". Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  20. "Chris Horner named in Lampre-Merida's Tour de France team". Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  21. "GENERAL CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS". Tour of Utah. Tour of Utah 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  22. Fotheringham, William (22 August 2014). "Chris Horner withdraws from Vuelta a España due to low cortisol levels". Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  23. "Busche secures stars-and-stripes jersey at US pro road championships". 25 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  24. Malach, Pat (13 April 2015). "Gaimon, Abbott take Redlands overall". Retrieved 14 April 2015.
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