Photo: Chris Horner
Spain’s “Vuelta a España” race or Tour of Spain as it known amongst American cyclists is not for the weak, the race is one month long over challenging terrain. Just ask this year’s winner that is if you can find him.
American cyclist, Chris Horner, 41, who hails from Bend, Oregon apparently disappeared “just hours” after winning the grueling bike race according to Spanish media. Horner is the oldest cyclist to win a Grand Tour cycling event and the first North American, he will turn 42 next month. He rides for the RadioShack-Leopard team and is a former teammate of Lance Armstrong.
Spanish doping authorities following a request from the U.S. anti-doping organization went to Horner’s Madrid Hotel after the race. Some say hours after the race other reports indicate the following morning.
According to reports the bicyclist had checked-out of his hotel and his racing teammates and manager claimed not to know his whereabouts. The team doctor was the only one who seemed to know where he was but that lead proved to be a dead end since the racer was on his way home. Horner’s teammates blame the Spanish anti-doping association deeming it their screw-up. Horner claims to have notified the agency that he would be leaving shortly after the race.
The bottom line is even if the anti-doping agency had the wrong hotel or couldn’t find Horner, Horner needed to have found them so that he could enjoy this historic victory without the cloud that now exists.
The race started in the western Galicia region on August 24 and ended on September 15 in the Asturias mountain area. This is the 68th year the race takes place and is part of the UCI World Tour.