Chris Horner at the Amgen Tour of California

Chris Horner at the Amgen Tour of California

Johan Bruyneel on the 2011 Fan Choice Awards:

This is the third year where we gave fans the opportunity to vote for the most outstanding riders and performances from the season. When the idea was initially presented to me a few years ago, I was a bit unsure if that was something we should do. Our whole focus is about the team; something that singles out one rider would seem to go against our philosophy. I was convinced by some of our staff that this is something fun for the fans to participate in and that teams in other sports also give their fans the same or similar opportunities. So while I agree it's fun for many and nice for the riders who have been nominated and won, I want to re-emphasize that the success of our team does not lie on the shoulders of one rider. In fact, it goes beyond the riders - it extends to directors, mechanics, soigneurs, the entire support staff, our dedicated sponsors and of course, the loyal fans who have followed from USPS to Discovery Channel to Astana to RadioShack. I hope that many will come along with us on our new and exciting journey in 2012.
Thank you - Johan

 

Johan Bruyneel on the 2011 Fan Choice Awards:

This is the third year where we gave fans the opportunity to vote for the most outstanding riders and performances from the season. When the idea was initially presented to me a few years ago, I was a bit unsure if that was something we should do. Our whole focus is about the team; something that singles out one rider would seem to go against our philosophy. I was convinced by some of our staff that this is something fun for the fans to participate in and that teams in other sports also give their fans the same or similar opportunities. So while I agree it's fun for many and nice for the riders who have been nominated and won, I want to re-emphasize that the success of our team does not lie on the shoulders of one rider. In fact, it goes beyond the riders - it extends to directors, mechanics, soigneurs, the entire support staff, our dedicated sponsors and of course, the loyal fans who have followed from USPS to Discovery Channel to Astana to RadioShack. I hope that many will come along with us on our new and exciting journey in 2012. Thank you - Johan


Interview with Chris Horner (winner of the signed jersey posted after the interview)  by JohanBruyneel.com Staff

Q: You've had a longer off-season than most. What have you been doing the last couple months?

CH: I've just been relaxing. In October we had a meeting with the team in Belgium and then we'll have another one in December. That will be a riding camp as we've had in years' past. There's still a lot to do with the team, but it was Important for everyone to get together early on.

Other than that, I've been spending some of my free time with the kids. I'll be with them for Thanksgiving. Been doing some riding, but not so much. A little bit here and there. I also just did an event for Trek and Trek Travel in Solvang. And tomorrow is Tejay Van Garderen's wedding so Megan and I will be celebrating with them.
Q: And you are a recent newlywed as well. Where did you and Megan meet and have you gone on a honeymoon yet?

CH: That's right! We met on the Saturn Team. They had a men and women's team. Obviously we share a passion for cycling.

No, we haven't had time for a honeymoon yet, but any suggestions of places to go are welcomed.
Q: The Amgen Tour of California was voted by the fans as the Most Impressive Performance of 2011. Surely it's also been the highlight of your season. But where does it rank in your overall career?

CH: Wow. That's hard to say. Luckily I have some other victories that make it a bit difficult to answer. California was definitely a lot of fun. When you have that fitness going into it, there's a lot of belief that you can actually win it. But to say where it ranks … Man, that's tough to really pinpoint. Winning Basque Country is certainly up there. That's known as one of the hardest races. Then going all the way back to 1996 with the Olympic Trials. I'd even say the 2005 stage victory in the Tour de Suisse. They've all been career-changing. They change you in the public eye, how you believe in yourself and the team's belief in you.

Q: Every cyclist dreams of winning a race in their home country. On top of that, you now live in California. Describe the emotions associated with your Tour of California victory.

CH: Right. You said it. It's a dream to win in your home country, in front of your home fans. The fans were just amazing. As a cyclist, every victory is pretty sweet, but winning in California - yea, that was much sweeter. Especially with the finish in Thousand Oaks. I've done years and years of training there. So to accept all the awards there was just extra special and very rewarding.

Q: As your career has progressed, you continue to find success. What do you attribute this to?

CH: I just love riding. And I have a strong desire to keep riding. I'm not ready to retire. But with the older age comes a great deal of experience. I know the training I need to do and what races I need to go to. I know what I need to do to get in shape and have the condition. I've pretty much eliminated the guesswork. When I was younger, I started training in December and I didn't know if the form would show up in March, April, May or June. Now I can pretty much pinpoint the week that I'll be at my best. I guess there are some good things about getting older.

Q: You mentioned earlier about the first meeting of RadioShack-Nissan-Trek. How'd it go?


CH: Yea, I think everyone should get along. It seems like a bunch of good guys. The main objective of this camp was just to meet and hang out. And the next camp, we'll have a better idea of how everyone's riding together. That camp will be important on how we come together as a team later in the season.

Q: Looking ahead to 2012, what are some of your personal goals?

CH: Of course California and the Tour de France are the two biggest, but there are more goals. The races I pick throughout the season - it's important for me to win somewhere. If I do Paris-Nice, Catalunya, Basque, Cali, Suisse, Tour de France, I'll be happy if wins come from any of those races. They're all great and important.

Q: I know you had your first Gran Fondo this summer. What's the plan for the next year?

CH: Yea, my wife did a fantastic job of getting it all organized. It was really fun to do it and be a part of it. We're going to do it again and shoot for 2-3 weeks after the Tour. I need to get a little "a-ok" from the team first.

Q: The fans voted you for this honor. What message would you like to say to them?

CH: Well of course thank you for the support. Tour of California was amazing and it had to do a lot with the fans and how they cheered not only for me, but the entire Team RadioShack. I also appreciate the knowledge that the fans have of the sport. It seems to be growing in the USA. I think the fans understand that to win California or any of these races, there's a lot of hard work involved, a lot of training miles put in, a lot of focus. So I want to thank them for having that knowledge.

Oh, and one more thing. It may not be related to the question, but I just want to say that it was really fun to do Cali with the two young guys - Ben King and Matt Busche. It was fun seeing their reactions to being part of such a big and important race. Look out for these guys.


Getting to Know More about Chris

Last Meal: That's getting difficult … You can never go wrong with some steak & potatoes.

Favortite Vacation Spot: At home

If you weren't a pro cyclist …: I have not a clue. It's all I was shooting for!

Most wanted holiday gift: New cars are always fun to have!

Next time you go to RadioShack, you plan or want to buy: Another phone because that's what we use the most. We just bought new ones a while ago, but as soon as you buy one there's a new and cooler one coming out.

Top five Twitter recommendations to follow:
@sacca
@ethansuplee
@bontrager
@jamielindsay
@juanpelota


Is this your profile picture? Then you're a winner! You're a fan of Johan's Facebook page, you voted in the 2011 Fan Choice Awards and you have been randomly chosen to win a signed jersey. Congratulations!


2011 Fan Choice Award Winners

Most Valuable Rider & American Rider - Levi Leipheimer
Most Valuable Domestique - Yaroslav Popovych
Best Tweeter - Levi Leipheimer
Best Young Rider - Ben King

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