MADRID (VN) — Chris Horner just won the Vuelta a España, but he still doesn’t have a contract for 2014.
With RadioShack-Leopard transforming into Trek for 2014, it’s likely that Horner would stay with the team. Yet team manager Luca Guercilena told VeloNews on Saturday there was no deal yet with Horner.
Horner also confirmed that he still has not penned a deal for next season, but he doesn’t seem too worried about it. At least not right now.
“I like this team [RadioShack], I am comfortable here. If the team wants to go in another direction, then we’ll see,” Horner said Sunday. “I am talking with all ProTour teams.”
The 41-year-old is looking for a two-year deal to be a leader with a major team. His Vuelta victory confirmed he can win big races, but teams would likely be hesitant to offer more than a one-year deal to a rider at his age, no matter how good he might be.
“The problem is my age. If I was 20, it would be very different, 50 different teams would be offering me a job,” Horner said.
There were reports in the Spanish media over the weekend that Horner is bound for the new Spanish super team funded by Formula One driver Fernando Alonso.
Alonso’s arrival to save Euskaltel-Euskadi has created a stir within Spain, and one newspaper reported that Horner is among 16 new riders that will join the team for 2014.
Horner certainly won’t come cheap, and with an asking price of around $1 million per season, there are not many teams out there right now with available budget to sign such a big contract so late in the game.
Many riders are scrambling to find contracts, making it a “buyer’s market” for teams looking for talent on the cheap.
Tyler Farrar, the star sprinter on Garmin-Sharp who was second in Sunday’s final stage, told VeloNews three days ago he still did not have a contract for 2014, admitting that he was “stressed” about finding a ride for next year. Officials from Vacansoleil-DCM, which is closing at the end of this season, told VeloNews on Saturday only half of its riders have found rides for next season.
Horner said he has no intention of riding into the sunset.
“How long will I continue racing? I have no idea. At least two or three years would be good,” Horner said. “If my legs are still turning the same way, I will continue.”
You get the feeling if Horner had his way, he’d race until he’s 50.