Horner's twitter rant for winning a GT but not finding a team for next year.
9.37pm Pacific Daylight Time: 15 years old and up @ 4:30am before school starts to train while dreaming of winning a grand tour. I did that!
9.44pm PDT Riding your bike to work so that you can train for hours in the dark after works done. I did that!
9.53pm PDT Hitching a ride across the country for months w/no money (almost I had 400+-) to race. I did that!
9.58pm PDT Sleeping in hotels,host family houses,cars,and park benches to get to the races. I did that!
10.02pm PDT Pro teams won't give you chance, so you buy your own license and race as an independent. I did that!
10.09pm PDT Race pro for years w/out pay just hoping to make enough winnings to pay rent. I did that!
10.17pm PDT Win everything in the US, pass on the big pay check, go to Europe for minimum pay. #ididthat!
10.27pm PDT Live in Europe in a small apartment W/no car,computer,phone,TV, only a walk for company. #ididthat!
10.28pm PDT Oops. Only a Walkman for company. #ididthat!
10.33pm PDT Take a step back hoping to go forward again. #ididthat!
10.39pm PDT Winning again but told I'm to old to go back to Europe a second time but keep fighting anyways. #ididthat!
10.45pm PDT Sell everything I own for a second chance at a grand tour, fly over with a 140bucks in my pocket. #ididthat!
10.54pm PDT Start going up the ladder with each year passing while never getting that leader respect and belief. #ididthat!
11.00pm PDT Up @6am w/3kids so I can drop them off @school before I go train all day for the Grand tours. #ididthat!
11.03pm PDT Finding that belief, given the leadership, delivering on it. #ididthat!
11.13pm PDT Moving up the ladder w/that continued belief, big sponsors on board now. #ididthat!
11.18pm PDT Whole season disappearing fast but still working hard to make it to those grand tours. #ididthat!
11.21pm PDT Amazing help and belief from all my family, friends, and fans to get back there. #ididthat!
11.32pm PDT Works paid off, forms back, but by now some have lost belief. #ididthat!
11.40pm PDT So much stress & work 4another start at a dream that began many years ago. #ididthat!
11.43pm PDT A life time of work and a stage/jersey arrive and disappear over night.
11.51pm PDT 100% is given and second time it happens, only to pass just as fast but
belief is returning. #ididthat!
12.04am PDT The jersey returned only this time for life, the stories to tell before & during it are epic & life time. #ididthat
12.08am PDT Yes it was worth it and yes the dream continues... With or without the belief. #ididthat!
O.k. so Horner doesn't have a contract yet.
1) He's too old to expect much out of him in the future, despite last month's grand tour win
2) He wants more pay than he's worth
2) Doping suspicions (high "Lance" factor)
1) Old guys constitute a big demographic for high end (i.e., expensive) cycling expenditures
2) Old guys identify with Horner, the old guy who can still do it (or at minimum, next season, the old guy who just did it last year)
3) There is a new head of the UCI, who's raring and ready to shake things up.
The UCI implements a new rule, effective immediately. Anything goes for riders 40 and older - they are free to dope at will. This should help them be very competitive with the younger riders who aren't allowed to dope (and in reality, who at best can micro-dope if they hope to pass the tests). If you thought Horner was good this year, wait 'til next year when he can dope to the gills, while the likes of Froome and Quintana will still have to be very judicious in any doping. The big bike and component manufacturers will get behind this because it should make their sales go through the roof. Now of course, there is room for some fine tuning, for instance whether 40 is the right cutoff, perhaps limited doping (homologous transfusions, but no EPO, for instance) should be allowed for 35+, and then balls to the walls anything goes doping at 40 - anyhow, I trust Mr. Cookson is hard at work studying and fine tuning this right now.
Update: As we all know now, Horner did eventually sign a contract at the end of January with Lampre-Merida.
However, I am rather disappointed with Mr. Cookson. I very much disliked his two immediate predecessors as head of the UCI, and I invested great hope in Mr. Cookson's tenure. Therefore, I can only hope that an announcement revealing the new old guys (and gals) doping exemption is imminently forthcoming. It might not be in time for the Spring classics, but let's make sure that the new rule is on the books, and riders have a chance to prepare accordingly, in time to take full effect for the first Grand Tour of the year, the Giro, in which, by the way, Chris Horner plans to compete.