Years ago, Chris Horner earned the nickname “The Smiler” because of his omnipresent smile and jovial attitude, even during the most excruciating physical challenges. It makes sense. Horner has had a lot to smile about during his racing career.
Chris accomplished the highest-profile result of his career by winning the 2011 Tour of California. He scored a major solo victory on the fourth stage after making significant time gains on the day’s final mountain finish in San Jose. He maintained his hold on the yellow jersey until he completed a two-man breakaway finish with teammate and fellow Oakley rider Levi Leipheimer to clinch the overall victory and become the oldest rider ever to win that tour (39).
Horner joined Team RadioShack in late 2009, and has since then continued to assert himself as a force both at home and abroad. In one of his strongest European campaigns, Horner garnered first overall at the Vuelta al Pais Basco (Tour of the Basque Country), including a stage win in the critical sixth stage ITT, defeating overall threat Alejandro Valverde. Horner also achieved several top 10 finishes at the Fleche Wallone, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Amstel Gold.
He finished tenth overall at the 2010 Tour de France—tops among American riders—despite dedicating himself in the first stages to supporting his team captain and fellow Oakley rider Lance Armstrong.