Chris Horner will race again in 2016, though the 2013 Vuelta a España champion has not yet announced for whom, how often, where, and when he’ll be pinning on a number.
A hint at Horner’s future arrived early Monday, when Knight Composites, a sponsor of the Illuminate Cycling program that grew out of Horner’s Airgas-Safeway team, informed the world that Horner will be “continuing his career in professional cycling,” and will become a “Road Brand Champion” for the company in 2016. Knight will continue to sponsor Illuminate in 2016, so Horner’s relationship with the brand indicates that he, too will stick with the Continental squad.
“Joining Knight, a global company with roots in Bend, Oregon, is a great fit for me as I continue my career in professional cycling,” Horner said in the statement.
Rumors that Horner, 44, would retire at the end of 2015 swirled following an October report in l’Equipe — a report that Horner’s agent, Baden Cookie, denied. Horner struggled with a bacterial infection through much of the 2014 and 2015 seasons, beginning at the 2014 Tour de France, and has not been able to return to the WorldTour despite the grand tour victory on his palmares.
Illuminate’s team manager, Chris Johnson, has not responded to requests for comment.