ADELAIDE, Australia (VN) — Chris Horner wants to race in 2016. That’s according to his agent, ex-pro Baden Cooke, who confirmed the veteran American still has ambitions in the pro peloton.
The 44-year-old Horner is trying to kick a major lung infection, and if he does, Cooke said Horner is hoping to race what would be his 19th professional season.
“He wants to race,” Cooke told VeloNews. “He’s doing course after course of antibiotics to get rid of a major lung infection. If he can fix the lung infection, he wants to race. If he can’t, he doesn’t want to waste his time or any team’s time.”
There has been growing speculation about Horner’s future, the only American to win the Vuelta a España.
After racing from 2005 to 2014 with major European teams, Horner rode last year with Airgas – Safeway, an American-based Continental team. Last season, Horner rode a limited calendar, topped by fifth at the U.S. road championships and fifth at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.
Horner told Business Insider in December he was diagnosed with a lung infection in October that’s required nine rounds of antibiotics.
Earlier this month, speculation about a possible Horner continuation was fueled when Knight Composites, a sponsor of the Illuminate Cycling program that grew out of Horner’s Airgas-Safeway team, reported that Horner will be “continuing his career in professional cycling,” and will become a “Road Brand Champion” for the company in 2016.
Whether that means he is racing or serving as a brand ambassador remains to be seen. A link to the Illuminate website only reveals a company logo and the tagline, “February 2016.” Right now, Horner’s name does not appear on the team’s official list of riders on its website.
Cooke said Monday he wrote Horner an e-mail over the weekend for an update of the situation.
“At the moment, he’s waiting to see if he can fix it,” Cooke said of Horner’s health issues. “If he can cure the lung infection, he will race.”