Chris Horner Gives Fallen Rider (and bike) a 2k Ride to the Finish

The leaders had already come through when a moto approached me and said, “Get your camera ready – one hell of a shot is coming your way”

I readied.

30 seconds later, the form of a rider appeared up the road.  Wait.  A rider?  Two riders?  What the hell is that thing?  As the form approached, I began to realize that Chris Horner was actually giving someone a ride on the back of his bike.  Uphill.  To the finish.  After busting ass to help Levi for 70 some-odd miles.

And, wait.  What IS that?  Is the guy carrying his bike?

Yes.  Yes he is.

He came across the line to huge applause.

Incredible!!

Apparently, Billy Demong (also a Nordic skier for the US Ski Team!) from Team American R.A.D.D./AGEL crashed with 2k to go, bike and body completely thrashed.

Horner stopped and said, “Hey dude, get on.” (you can imagine Horner saying this, right? : ) and then rode them both up the hill to the finish.

What a class act.


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73 comments

  1. that… is… AWESOME.

  2. I second that- AWESOME.

  3. Guy Smith

    Horner is the shit!!!! That is the best photo story I`ve seen in years! I`m going to send this link to my brother in Korea he will be blown away! Great job!!!

  4. Sweet!! That is so cool!

  5. Hey, great coverage on our guy Horner! Any chance you’d like to share your photos with our team website? We’d love to let the fans know what Chris did and would be happy to give you the photo credit!

    Cathy
    Team Astana

  6. Chris is the MAN…should be in FRANCE but glad he can be at home in July this year! Can’t wait to see him in the mountains of Europe next year!

  7. Excellent story. I love to see riders at the highest level of the sport being true leaders in the most important ways: showing true class and sportsmanship.

  8. Scotti Smith

    Thanks Guy! Horner yet again shows his mettle …he’s a Viking and a great cut man! Like Levi said he’s worth 8 riders … A true Maverick in the sport.

  9. Holy crap. Chris Horner is the man.

  10. I’ve always been a Chris Horner fan. Most down-to-earth bike racer I’ve ever met. :)

  11. It is too bad team Astana had all those doping issues last year. I really would have liked to have seen them in this year’s Tour.

  12. haha that’s awesome.

  13. Chris,
    Nice. Screw Popo, you are worth WAY more. Class.

  14. taranian

    Holy choke me up. That’s too cool. Way to be completely sportsman like. :) More sports need to have folks like this.

  15. Daniel Mudimbe

    I’ve always like the dude, now i love him. Giddy up CH.

  16. There is no way Horner could have carried that guy for 2k without taking EPO. Lets rig his B sample and kick him out of the race.

  17. that is god dam NUTS ON CHIN!

  18. This is what cycling really need, some true class-act guys. Thanks for bringing this to our attention! One salute for Horner!!!

  19. Sportsman of the year for that act of selflessness!

  20. Roni Haga

    Very cool. I love seeing stories about decent people. Makes you realize they still exist. Thank you both Chris and Billy. Love the looks on both your faces as you peddled on in. Good people.

  21. http://www.velonews.com/article/80087/how-chris-horner-is-spending-july

    Heidi Makes into Velo News!!!

    Congratulations!!!

    Photographer Heidi Swift was near the summit of the final climb of Saturday’s fifth stage of the Cascade Cycling Classic when a passing race moto driver told her to get her camera ready.

    2008 Cascade Cycling Classic: Horner’s unloads his passenger at the finish line.
    Photo: Heidi SwiftSoon enough, Swift saw a strange sight: Astana rider Chris Horner pounding along, with a rider — and bike — along for the ride.

    Swift learned later that Horner came across Billy Demong (Team American R.A.D.D./AGEL) about 2km from the summit. Horner, his work helping teammate Levi Leipheimer over, offered Demong a ride.

    “I wasn’t really a huge Horner fan before this but I am now. What a class act,” Swift said.

  22. Chris - Tour Fan

    Is it any wonder why I LOVE Astana??
    Chris stops to give a lift to Billy, Andreas stops to check on Frank Schleck in the Giro..
    awesome!

    Great coverage. Thanks so much.

  23. Charlotte

    Chris … awesome as usual, yet above and beyond – let your true colors shine!

  24. I know Billy from skiing Nordic Combined, not only is he a great cyclist, but he’s one of the very best in the world at nordic combined. Last year at Sapporo at the world championships he finished second and this year he was third overall at the end of the world cup season

  25. Kudos to Chris Horner! Sportsmanship is alive and well. Thank you, thank you and thank you for sharing this great story.

  26. Love it!!!

  27. Definitely a great inspiration (for a lot of other racers, not just spectators)!

  28. I think Bontranger needs to use those photos to show how strong their wheels are- of course the two of them still probably only weigh in at 200lbs!

    Horner is a class act and glad to see he could reach out to Demong- maybe he’ll take Chris out ski jumping sometime to pay him back- both on one pair of skis- now that would be a sight!

    DEA

  29. That means he hauled him up to Bachelor from sonewhere around Todd Lake! What a guy!

  30. That is what makes Horner the man! I could say more but let’s just leave it this: Pro Cycling is better because of Chris Horner.

  31. Way to go Chris!!!!

    If there was a Jersey for the most sportsmanship Rider, It would have gone to Chris.

    I’ve meet Chris and rode with him a few time here in San Diego. He a really cool and nice guy!

  32. This confirms my last “meeting” with Chris. We were watching the Wendy’s Cycling Classic in Columbus with my two boys, Chris was riding for Mercury at the time. My boys were yelling “Go! Go! Go!” to every racer and waving to them on the cool-down lap. Most of the riders just went right past but Chris stopped and gave both my boys one of his water bottles. They were elated that one of the racers not only stopped to talk to them, but gave them something.

    Chris, you always were the man, just more people know it now.

  33. Really fantastic foto, Chris is real MAN, ASTANA FOREVER!

  34. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Chris. He’s a stud and a gentleman. Kudos to you Mr. Horner.

  35. Wow…how cool is that.

  36. The story about Chris carrying Billy Demong 2k across the finish line is totally incredible. But it was only one of the great Horner stories from the race. Chris was taken-out in a crash in the first QUARTER MILE of the first stage. He got back on his bike, worked for Levi the entire race, and then flated with 10K to the finish. Crazy bad luck. Unreal. Then on the Friday night crit in downtown Bend, Horner pulled the enitre peloton for Levi for the majority of the race. It was totally impressive. Then, after the circuit race on the final day, Chris was riding home when a fan asked him to sign a bottle with a ball-point pen. Obviously it didn’t work. So Chris rode back to the finish line to get a marker and signed the bottle for the fan. Horner is a freaking stud and a class act. And it’s a damn shame he isn’t representing us at the Olympics. You rock Chris Horner.

  37. Promoteurs,
    Here is a your new race format: two riders, one bike, you switch sitting arrangement when you want.

  38. in.credible!

  39. Chris Horner is really unique: a fantastic athlete, sportsman, teammate, cycling strategist, communicator (great interviewee), sense of humor — a class act.

  40. Class with a capital C

    This is TRUE sportsmanship!!!!

  41. How can you NOT be a Horner fan now? If was “Fred” enough to buy and wear a Pro Team jersey…it was certainly be Astana. Columbia…Garmin…nope…go Astana..
    GO HORNER!

  42. Yeah, no kidding DPL. Horner got crashed out- some yahoo hit a cone on a “neutral” rollout and took him down.

    Chris is one of the most vivacious and entertaining guys you can meet. SUPER friendly.

    You can check out some of the great pics that Heidi took at the crit here:

    http://www.astana-cyclingteam.com/PhotoGallery_Stage.aspx?Code=220

    (the pic of them in the upper left hand corner is of Chris explaining how they rode the climb on Thursday entirely in their big ring. insane.)

  43. He IS amazing and completely friendly. The next day a mere 45 minutes before the circuit race, my bike (locked to a rack) got a flat near where he and Levi were sitting. Me, being a newbie to fixing flats was slightly intimidated by the pro’s all around watching. Chris not only gave me a few helpful hints on changing the tire, but he also lent me the safety pin off of his jersey so I could get the glass out of my tire. He even helped me get the rear wheel back on the bike. Class act indeed! (I’ve got pictures and everything.)

  44. Chris, I always thought you were a great guy. Remember the Simi Valley training rides during the ’90′s? We sure miss seeing you in the Tour this year!
    Best regards, Cindy Goodman

  45. Chiron613

    This is what I call true sportsmanship. Winning takes second place to helping someone out. What a champ!

  46. Pam Weilenmann

    Wow. That’s Sports!

  47. That is cool as hell! I hope he got something for coming in first in the tandem category.

  48. Judy and Arnie Gertsma

    We sure wish Chris would be participating in SuperWeek, (going on now in SE Wisconsin and Northern Illinois and concluding in Milwaukee on 7/27. We’ve been big fans ever since he was in this 2 week long race prior to his TdF days and miss the excitement he brings to the event. Could someone tell Chris to call Otto Wenz and get a ticket
    out here? Come on down, the weather’s fine!!

    Judy and Arnie Gertsma

  49. Chris Horner is being tons of class to cycling. In this time where cycling is getting hit hard due to doping allegations, it is great to see a top rate athlete show this sort of sportsmanship. Chris, you are truely awe-inspiring!

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