He was an absolute beast even before he turned pro. First time we raced together was, iirc, in 1994, at a series of domestic races. Not the best bike handler, but simply ferocious. I wish I'd had his talent and tenacity lol
I don't doubt that. My problem with Chris Horner is his transformation when he left Lotto. At Lotto he struggled to hold Cadel's wheel on HC cat climbs. But then after switching teams the boot was suddenly on the other foot - he was 37 by then? Of course the absurdity rose to a crescendo at the 2013 Vuelta when he was nearly 42 years old but that has been well covered.