Vuelta a Espana winner Chris Horner’s long search for a team for the 2014 season has ended after Italian team Lampre-Merida confirmed the signing of the 42-year-old American.
Despite becoming the oldest ever Grand Tour winner last season, Horner had been without a team for the coming season after his RadioShack-Leopard contract expired.
But the veteran will race for Lampre-Merida this year, with the defence of his red jersey in Spain top of his agenda.
The team confirmed the move on their official Twitter feed, writing: “It’s official now: @hornerakg joins @lampre_merida on a one-year deal.
“He is set to ride both #Giro and #Vuelta. Welcome on board, Chris.”
His one-year contract means the Italian team now have both Horner and world champion Rui Costa in their ranks for the 2014 season.
— MeridaProRoadRacing (@MeridaProRoad) January 30, 2014
It has already been confirmed the Portuguese ace will lead the team at the Tour de France after two stage wins in the race last year, while riding for Movistar.
Now, with the capture of Horner, Lampre-Merida will be keen to compete for honours at all three Grand Tours in their second season in the WorldTour peloton.
Horner will ride alongside Diego Ulissi at the Giro d’Italia. The Italian rider started his season with a stage win and third place overall at the Tour Down Under.
Polish rider Przemyslaw Niemiec, who finished sixth at last year’s Giro, is also set to take to the start line in Belfast on Friday May 9 as part of what is shaping to be a strong Lampre-Merida line-up.