Chris Horner on diet, cafes and California

[singlepic id=57 w=320 h=240 float=right]I found it particularly rewarding to watch Chris Horner win the 2011 Amgen Tour of California.  Horner is one of my favorite riders in the peloton.  As anyone that has been reading my posts will have noticed, I’m primarily a Leopard-Trek fan.  Or, more precisely, I’m a Voigt, Schleck, Schleck and Cancellara fan, and they just happen to still be riding on the same team.

While my Leopard Trek fandom comes form watching the guys race, my appreciation of Chris Horner is much more personal.  I had the opportunity to both meet and ride with Chris Horner at last years Clark’s Corner Cycling Challenge.  That’s where I learned that, well, Chris is just a really cool guy.  There are few folks as down to earth, approachable and humble.  Oh – and the guy seems to have a perpetual smile on his face.

Horner even mentioned Clark’s Corner in one of his video diaries taken during the Tour of California:

[singlepic id=65 w=320 h=240 float=left]One of the things that struck me about standing next to the guy is how tiny he was last year – at least to me.  What is interesting about that is that Horner has stated that getting his weight down was key to winning the AToC.

Levi Leipheimer had made a couple of joking comments to the press about Horner “Getting the diet under control,” and Horner himself was quoted regarding his dieting efforts by VeloNews as saying:

We [Chris and grilfriend Megan Elliott] tried it the grocery route, preparing healthy meals at home, but I wasn’t losing weight. While cooking meals, I was snacking, too. Often you don’t start cooking dinner until you’re hungry, and dinner takes an hour to make. Next thing you know, you’re shredding cheese and cutting yourself an extra thick slice to nibble on, or taking a handful of almonds, or eating a piece of the bread that is supposed to go with your pasta, and even though your dinner is only supposed to be 1,000 calories, you’ve added an extra 700 just snacking while making dinner.

It looks like other folks might get the opportunity to rub elbows with Chris Horner in the same way I did.  Indications are that he will again be attending the Clark’s Corner Cycling Challenge on September 25th in Ione, CA.  I spoke with Kraig Clark regarding this second annual event, and it looks like things will be changing a little bit from last year’s format.  This time around it will be a bit more traditional, with set routes of varying lengths.  I would also highly recommend the VIP dinner – as the food last year was fantastic.