Chris Horner. Battling a super bug in Utah?

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Having just read that Chris Horner is now on his third consecutive course of antibiotics, all we could think was, “wow.”

This is why antibiotics don’t work anymore, folks. Back in the days when doctors used to hand them out like candy, they worked just fine. Miracle drugs, truimph of science, march of progress, pharma companies making fortunes.

Then people gobbled so many that the bacterica deveoped resistence to the drugs and now we have “super bugs” that defy all antibiotics. Is Horner fighting Garmin-Sharp, BMC and Super Bug?

Horner started on antibiotics 10 days before the Tour de France, did a second course during the race (we believe) and now at the Tour of Utah he’s on his third round.

“From 10 days before the Tour until now, I’m sure there’s been some kind of antibiotics in my system the whole time. So whatever I got I can’t seem to clear up. Not a good idea to race your bike in the Tour de France and then come here and still try and get healthy. It’s a little bit hard, but it comes with the job sometimes.”

Clearly, they’re not working. Seems like a resistence issue where time off the bike and out of racing would serve him better. Still, he’s a well paid athlete and that’s the job and you don’t drop out of the Tour de France because you’ve got a cold. As Horner himself said about racing with an illness, “not a good idea.”

His approach does make us wonder. Horner knows his body quite well but at 42 years of age and with plans to defend his breakthrough Vuelta a Espana grand tour victory, hammering it at altitude in Utah while on yet another course of antibiotics seem questionable at best.

Horner should be home drinking hot tea, resting and doing recovery rides instead of trying to stay on Tom Danielson’s wheel on a 16% mountain climb grade. That seems crazy. The Vuelta starts in two weeks and with Chris Froome and Giro d’Italia winner Nairo Quintana riding to win, old man Horner needs his downtime.

As they wrote in Velonews, “Trying to recover from illness at the race that bills itself as America’s toughest – it features 17,637 meters of elevation gain over 1,207km – is a big ask, but Horner believes he’s headed in the right direction.”

Tough to argue with an experienced pro like Horner who knows exactly what he needs to prepare for a big race. Guys like Horner have genetic gifts and powers of recovery that are beyond our meager physiological resources. He said he’d dial it back in Utah if he felt like his body wasn’t coming around — save it for Spain.

We’re not seeing much dialing back however and the news that he’s on his third round of antibiotics sure raises some questions. The drugs aren’t helping him recover due to resistance and they do have their side effects. Chris Horner is too old for bug.

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