American pro road racer Chris Horner, racing for the Astana Cycling Team, broke his left collar bone after a crash in the final sprint of the second stage of the Tour of Elk Grove in Illinois on August 2, effectively ending his chances to support teammate Alberto Contador at the Vuelta a España, which begins August 30 in Granada.
Horner was able to finish the race (as 34th) but was transported to a nearby hospital where the break was diagnosed.
Horner, 36, who earlier finished second in the time trial, was preparing for the Vuelta. He was planning to return to Europe this week to participate in the Tour de l’Ain and the Tour de Limousin prior to starting in his third Tour of Spain. With less than four weeks to go till the Vuelta, it will be impossible for him to start in the Grand Tour, according to team management.
Contador won the 2007 Tour de France, 2008 Giro d’Italia, and is on track as the favourite to win the Vuelta. Astana was not invited to defend its title at the 2008 Tour by race organizers.