It was revealed during the post-race press conference at the Amgen Tour of California that both of RadioShacks’s two strongest American riders, Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner will not be attending the US Pro Championships in Greenville.
Chris Horner, the recent winner of the Tour of California stated that he wanted to spend time with his children in Bend, Oregon and due to a sponsor obligation it was necessary to visit the Nissan factory in Michigan as well. After a dominating performance in California, Horner is aiming for a top five in the Tour de France. In order to properly prepare for the sport’s most important race, the demands of flying from the west coast to the east coast, then to Michigan and returning to Europe don’t lend themselves to optimal training.
In a team press release Horner said, “It’s a difficult transition at this period between the Tour of California and the Tour to come in at 100% form. Levi and I will have to do everything perfectly between now and then to make that happen. It’s a very small window and it’s a time that if you do something wrong it will affect your form for sure at the Tour. Make no mistake, with RadioShack this team is 100% dedicated to the rider who will perform at the Tour de France.”
Horner stated that his lead up to the French national tour will include the Tour de Suisse.
Leipheimer said that the need to recover is the reason he won’t be trying to take back the national time trial champion’s jersey. Last year he lost by less than a second to Taylor Phinney.
While RadioShack’s two marquee riders won’t be in Greenville, their teammate and reigning road champion Ben King will. David Zabriskie, who did not contest the time trial in 2010, is returning and has shown with his victory in the Solvang time trial that he is in good form. BMC’s Taylor Phinney will be there to defend his jersey in the race against the clock.