Monday, July 27, 2009

Chris Horner dodges crashes and wishes for tougher conditions

By Luke Seemann

With Sunday's Chicago Criterium dishing out $2,800 in primes, Brad Huff (Jelly Belly) said it felt like a field sprint on every lap, but the Midwestern sprinter saved himself for when it counted, successfully launching a flier from more than a kilometer out to take victory and a $5,000 pay day.

Fan favorite Chris Horner (Astana), excluded from the day's celebration in Paris, skipped the Cascade Cycling Classic to support sponsor SRAM in its hometown. Horner finished midpack, narrowly avoiding a last-lap pileup that took out 2008 winner Adam Bergman (Texas Roadhouse). "I didn't crash. It's all good."

Riding alone and seemingly with a turqoise-and-yellow target on his back, Horner said he had been counting on heat or wind to take a toll on the 185-strong field. He got neither.

"You couldn't ask for a better day to go out and ride your bike, but it's a bad day to race your bike if you're a climber. Give me some heat, some wind — give me something!"

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