In 1995, he turned professional with the PAA–NutraFig team. His first victories came in 1996 when he won a stage of the Tour DuPont and finished first in the Lancaster Classic.
1997 - 1999
Racing in Europe
For three years, he raced in Europe for the first, but not the last, time with the French team Française des Jeux.
Dominating the Domestic Scene
He returned to the States in 2000, where he dominated the American road racing scene riding for Mercury, Prime Alliance, Saturn, and Webcor Builders. He won virtually every major race on the US racing calendar, including the overall USA National Cycling Calendar three years in a row.
2005 - 2009
Back to Europe
After placing 8th at the UCI Road World Championships, he wanted a shot at the Tour de France and moved to Saunier Duval-Prodir. He achieved his first major European victory with a stage win at the 2005 Tour de Suisse and competed in the Tour de France that year, almost winning a stage. In 2006, he moved to the Belgian UCI ProTour team Davitamon-Lotto, and in 2007 signed with Ed Krall Racing for the cyclo-cross season. In 2008, he moved to Astana.
2010 - 2013
Racing for RadioShack
In 2009, he signed with Team RadioShack and won first overall at Tour of the Basque Country the following year. In a strong campaign during the 2010 season, he also placed in the top 10 in several spring classics and fourth in the Tour of California while supporting his teammates. He finished ninth overall in the Tour de France as the highest-placed American. His success continued in 2011 with a top podium position at the Tour of California, becoming at age 39 the oldest rider to win that tour.
After signing with RadioShack-Nissan in 2012, he had a strong performance in the mountains in the Tour de France that year, securing 13th overall.
Then in 2013, after an injury earlier in the season, Chris attacked in Stage 3 of the Vuelta a España, winning the stage and the overall lead, becoming the oldest rider in history to win a stage and wear the leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour. After an epic uphill finish during Stage 10, he won the race overall, the oldest ever Grand Tour winner.
Photo Courtesy Graham Watson
2014 - 2019
Racing as a Grand Tour Winner
He left RadioShack-Leopard and signed with Lampre-Merida in 2014. However, his racing season was cut short after being hit by a car while training for the Giro d’Italia in 2014, sustaining a punctured lung and broken ribs. He nevertheless finished 17th in the GC at the Tour de France that year and second in the Tour of Utah.
Between 2015 and 2019, he raced for Airgas Safeway Cycling, Lupus Racing Team, and Team Illuminate. He finally retired in 2019 after battling a bronchial infection.
Life After Racing
In 2019, he joined forces with Anne Linton and Linton Horner Coaching was launched. They had training camps in the Painted Hills of Eastern Oregon and in the French Alps.
That year, he also began his newcareer as a commentator for NBC’s coverage of the Tour de France. Famous for his in-depth analysis and knowledge of cycling, he returned to the Tour de France commentating again in 2020 (this time, at the NBC studios due to Covid). He also began creating his own content for his YouTube Channel, Chris Horner’s Corner.