Chris Horner Wins 2010 Tour of the Basque Country; Beats Valverde in Decisive Time Trial
Team RadioShack's Chris Horner won today's individual time trial in the 2010 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco and thereby also grabbed the overall race win from Alejandro Valverde.
Team RadioShack's Chris Horner won today's individual time trial in the 2010 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco and thereby also grabbed the overall race win from Alejandro Valverde who lead the race overall by a wee two seconds before today's decisive time trial in and around Orio, Spain.
In what turned out to be a close and intense duel between Horner and Valverde, Horner showed the Spaniard who's boss by first eliminating Valverde's overall two second lead and then continuing to distance himself from Valverde by increasing his lead kilometer by kilometer and powering to the finish line eight seconds faster than Valverde.
"Last year I just missed the victory in the Tour de l'Ain, because of respiratory problems. Earlier I was close too in the the Tour de Romandie and the Tour de Suisse. Now finally I am on the highest place of the podium. Seventeen stage race wins is not bad, but I think this is the nicest one," Horner told Roadcycling.com.
"I had good legs today, but honestly, the whole week I had good legs. Yesterday I saved some forces because I wanted to be super today in the time trial. Already from day one in this race I was confident about this time trial."
Local Team Euskaltel rider Benat Intxausti rode to an impressive fifth place in today's 22 kilometer mountainous time trial and thereby claimed the third spot on the overall podium. He was obviously very happy and did not leave a drop in the huge bottle of cava that was handed to him on the podium.
Team HTC-Columbia's Maxime Monfort and Michael Rogers finished third and fourth respectively in today's final stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco 2010.
Driving the car behind Horner was RadioShack team director Viatcheslav Ekimov, who was barely able to contain his joy at the end of the stage. "Chris is the man!" Ekimov shouted with joy. "When I saw Chris warming up this morning I saw what concentration he had and I thought to myself, Oh boy, this is going to be good, he means business! He made no mistakes, showed perfect bike handling skills and was a real power house. The TT bike worked super."
When asked about his feelings and emotions when driving the team car behind Horner, Ekimoved said "I couldn't stop talking on the radio. I was yelling his split times, giving him Valverde's times and in general just yelling Go! Go! Go!" And Chris Horner certainly did GO! and fired on all engines.
Commenting on Chris Horner's win in his Twitter account, teammate and seven time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong wrote "Horner wins it!!! Congrats my friend. Great win for TeamRadioShack."
Teammate and powerful time trial expert Levi Leipheimer wrote "Wow! Way to go Horner and teamradioshack! Very impressive."