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by Shane Stokes
January 12, 2016
Questions about whether or not Chris Horner will continue as a pro rider may have been answered today, with the Knight Composites wheel company stating that he will begin his 22nd year of racing.
Horner won the Vuelta a España in 2013 but has faced considerable uncertainty about his career since then, due partly to his age. Now 44 years old, he secured a last-minute deal to compete with Lampre-Merida in 2014 but was not retained for 2015.
Instead, the Continental Airgas-Safeway team stepped forward and brought him on board.
That squad has now been renamed Team Illuminate, but thus far has been tight-lipped about whether or not he would be part of the setup.
However Knight Composites signed a two year deal with the team in 2015, and a statement released by it today makes it appears to suggest that he will remain.
It said that he would be added to its leadership team, before commenting about his future and confirming that he would keep racing.
Horner himself did likewise. “Joining Knight, a global company with roots in Bend, Oregon; is a great fit for me as I continue my career in professional cycling,” he said.
Knight Composites added further weight to the hints. “We were honoured that he wanted his team to ride Knight [in 2015], and it’s been a very effective partnership that will continue with the 2016 season.”
Its CEO Beverly Lucas subsequently sought to dispel any presumptions. “His ride with Airgas-Safeway introduced him to Knight wheels,” she said. “I believe he is still in negotiations with [team owner] Chris Johnson.”
Team Illuminate has not yet clarified his contract status.
Also see: Cooke: Chris Horner hasn’t decided to retire, he is aiming to race next year