Vuelta Stage 21: Chris Horner wins Vuelta as Michael Matthews wins final stage

Horner becomes oldest Grand Tour winner, young Australian rider takes second stage of the race,

by Simon_MacMichael   September 15, 2013  

Vuelta 2013 logo

Michael Matthews of Orica-GreenEdge has won his second stage of the 2013 Vuelta, taking the 21st and final stage in a hard fought sprint in Madrid ahead of Garmin-Sharp's Tyler Farrar, with Nikias Arndt of Argos Shimano third. RadioShack-Leopard's Chris Horner has been confirmed as the overall winner of the 68th edition of the race, making him the oldest man, at 41 years, to win one of cycling's Grand Tours.

Alessandro Vanotti of Astana and Caja Rural's Francisco Aramendia had got off the front of the peloton as it hit the closing circuit in Madrid, and remained out in front until the closing lap. NetApp-Endura's Zak Dempster put in an attack with a little more than 2km remaining but it was always doomed to failure as the sprinters' leadout men jostled for position ahead of the final sprint.

Result and reaction to follow

12 user comments

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This sport is a joke/farce/sham/racket.

AND I LOVE IT! Wave

posted by Doper [35 posts]
15th September 2013 - 22:30

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Great stage up the Angliru.
And a worthy winner.
Despite all the bad press, this is such a great sport. Well done Chris, and all finishers.

Trek Navigator 200
Old, heavy and upright, but that's enough about me!

posted by behemothprocycling [31 posts]
16th September 2013 - 8:04

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And the winner is...... Rider 15 Devil

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posted by Wesselwookie [129 posts]
16th September 2013 - 10:05

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Chris Horner is an engaging character and I very much hope he is 'clean'.

Before getting on a bike I was a distance runner and am used to older athletes doing well in endurance events, so I don't find Horner's performance surprising. When I ran the London Marathon in '82 the women's race was won by 44 year old Joyce Smith who finished 11th in the Olympic event in '84 aged 46. 37 year old Carlos Lopes won the men's event that year.

At club level I recall people posting PRs in their early 40s. I don't know whether there are any studies of the performance of older endurance athletes, but in my (very subjective) experience some are able to reach/maintain their peak at a relatively advanced age.

PS. 38 year old West Ham goalie man of the match yesterday?

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posted by Crosshouses [178 posts]
16th September 2013 - 11:22

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Crosshouses wrote:
Chris Horner is an engaging character and I very much hope he is 'clean'.

Before getting on a bike I was a distance runner and am used to older athletes doing well in endurance events, so I don't find Horner's performance surprising. When I ran the London Marathon in '82 the women's race was won by 44 year old Joyce Smith who finished 11th in the Olympic event in '84 aged 46. 37 year old Carlos Lopes won the men's event that year.

At club level I recall people posting PRs in their early 40s. I don't know whether there are any studies of the performance of older endurance athletes, but in my (very subjective) experience some are able to reach/maintain their peak at a relatively advanced age.

PS. 38 year old West Ham goalie man of the match yesterday?

But don't you think it is odd that no other 41 year old has come even close to winning a cycling event like this in the modern era (since 1960s). Even before then, when training methods were not as scientific it is uncommon.

I would also point out that running is very different in the way that it a steady pace is pretty much the key. In cycling because you have the drafting effect you can get serious performance benefits, and so having the ability to apply power for a selected period is more crucial than if you can mill out a constant wattage for a certain time (otherwise TT riders would win a lot more races).

Power is important, as it something that drops off with age. You don't improve it.....unless you're doping. The expressions of power by Horner do not ring true to me considering his previous.

Sadly I think this is just a case of showing up how ineffectual the doping authorities are. But then again the Vuelta has never been a bastion of anti-doping (while both the Giro and Tour have made efforts to try to crack down on abusive athletes). After all they never actually caught Armstrong (without an exemption or backdated testing). Doping is just being done different now. But one thing I note is how riders are changing their body types - Wiggins, Froome and Horner have all reduced themselves down considerably in a fashion I haven't seen of any other generation - some may point out that this maybe why they can win clean, but I would also point out that being slim also has its own costs - you struggle to maintain your muscle mass integrity and so will lose power and strength as a result, under normal circumstances....but steroidal use can help prevent that.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1114 posts]
16th September 2013 - 12:08

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http://www1.skysports.com/cycling/news/15264/8924912/chris-horner-misses...

It's pretty damning really. They say they went to a 'random hotel' where they thought they might be, but surely if they turn up at the team hotel they could tell them a) which hotel he is definitely at b) point them to ADAMS to show them that it was updated in time and properly.

Or, what is more likely, they turned up where he said he would be, was told a bunch of lies about where he might be, and was escaped being caught with PEDs.....you'd think that his team would make sure that he was tested properly to avoid this sort of 'suspicion'.

Rider 15 your time is up!

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1114 posts]
16th September 2013 - 12:20

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If you read the article it "appears" that the team did everything by the book and if the alleged email they sent stating where he was with room number and tel no is produced then it is the fault of the testers.

However he boarded a flight to USA on monday morning and i'm pretty sure his team would have been in touch to say the testers had called and "make yourself available to them". Its not as if they are a minor team.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2697 posts]
16th September 2013 - 12:28

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Yup - it's their press statement and they are deciding the narrative at present.

I think this stinks to high heaven (and USADA caught a whiff of it). The Spanish are not know for their effective drug testing either - we know the political will they have for this sort of thing (the blood bags of Dr Uffami Fuentes will attest to this - but wait, they threw those away!)

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1114 posts]
16th September 2013 - 13:58

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Tyler Farrar closes out a pretty hard with another 2nd place

posted by jarredscycling [436 posts]
16th September 2013 - 16:40

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Can't believe nobody is mentioning Horner's post podium interview. "beautiful" this and "beautiful" that. Does the testing procedure show up ecstasy use?

posted by darren13366 [53 posts]
18th September 2013 - 10:39

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darren13366 wrote:
Can't believe nobody is mentioning Horner's post podium interview. "beautiful" this and "beautiful" that. Does the testing procedure show up ecstasy use?

If it wasn't beautiful then he certainly had a lot of love for it. Past, present and future...

posted by farrell [1394 posts]
18th September 2013 - 11:51

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Do you really reckon this is the face of a man that has always remained sober:

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/hornerbeard-620...

posted by farrell [1394 posts]
18th September 2013 - 11:53

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