Carbon wheel maker, Knight Composites has expanded its staff with the hiring former Grand Tour champion Chris Horner. In addition to continuing his racing career, Horner will assume the role of lead road brand champion, responsible for testing and helping to establish partnerships with clubs, teams and other global cycling partners.
"I've had the opportunity to ride practically all of the wheels on the market," said Horner, who is based in Bend, Oregon. "After spending a season on Knight with my teammates at Safeway-Airgas and putting their wheels to the test for thousands of miles, I can honestly say we chose the right partner. In terms of speed, responsiveness, stability, and overall performance - they've nailed it. I'm a pretty simple guy - I want to work with people I trust and respect, and I want to use the very best gear out there. Joining Knight, a global company with roots in Bend, Oregon, is a great fit for me as I continue my career in professional cycling."
In addition to continuing his racing career, Horner will assume the role of lead road brand champion (click to enlarge).
"I've been blessed to have worked with Chris for a large part of his cycling career, and having him join the Knight family is a perfect fit and gives us even more validation and confirmation that we've truly created something special here," added Jim Pfeil, Knight president. "As a well-respected cycling veteran and the only American Grand Tour champion still riding in the peloton, Chris could have gone to any of our competitors to support his Safeway-Airgas squad last year. But after several weeks of testing, we were honored that he wanted his team to ride Knight, and it's been a very effective partnership that will continue with the 2016 season."
Entering his 22nd year of racing, Horner has many wins in the U.S. and was selected for the 2012 Olympic team. His palmarès also include competing in the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, and Vuelta a España, which he won in 2013.
The notion that Horner will continue to race this year will come as a surprise to some. Since riding with Lampre-Merida in 2014, Horner has been out of the WorldTour and spent last season with U.S. continental squad Airgas-Safeway. That team has subsequently changed names to Team Illuminate, but had given no indication that Horner was part of the new set-up. But the fact that Knight Composites is a sponsor would seem to indicate that Horner will be back with them for another year of racing.
For more information, visit www.chrishornerracing.com.