At the age of 41 Chris Horner has become the oldest ever Grand Tour winner with victory in the Vuelta a Espana. Orica-GreenEdge’s Michael Matthews won the final 109.6km stage to the Vuelta’s traditional conclusion in Madrid in a bunch sprint ahead of Garmin Sharp’s Tyler Farrar and Nikias Arndt of Argos-Shimano.
When Horner, who turns 42 in October, won Stage 3 of the Vuelta a España – 172.5km, Vigo to Mirador de Lobeira – he became the oldest rider in the history of cycling to win a stage in a Grand Tour. In winning the overall classification he beat Tony Rominger (1994 winner) by some 8 years to become the oldest overall Vuelta victor, and being five years older than 1922 Tour de France winner Firmin Lambot is now the oldest cyclist ever to take a Grand Tour win. In addition Horner is the first American to win the Vuelta.
Commenting on his win Chris Horner said, ‘I’ve been a professional for almost 20 years so this represents a lifetime of hard work. A Grand Tour is always a goal for a cyclist to show how good a rider you are. The memories will last forever and the riders I came with were amazing and my team has been fantastic. My family is home watching. My daughters are 16 and 14, and my son is 11 so they are old enough to appreciate this…’
Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali took second in GC (+ 37”) and Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde third (+ 1′ 36”); Team Sky’s best-placed riders were Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Luis Henao, finishing 27th and 28th respectively.
You can follow Chris Horner on Twitter – @hornerakg