The winner of the Amgen Tour of California was primed to contest for the final podium in Paris, but now may be out of the race, his team said today. The decision whether or not the 39-year-old will take the start in Aigurande on Saturday will be made in the morning.
Horner was involved in a crash 35km from the finish in Châteauroux, and while he was able to complete the stage, he finished 12:41 behind, his hopes for the general classification over.
The American was caught up in the same crash which ended the Tour for Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins and FDJ's Remi Pauriol. The bad luck for Team RadioShack continued as Yaroslav Popovych, Haimar Zubeldia, Markel Irizar and Levi Leipheimer were also involved in crashes on the day. Of the four GC leaders, the team brought to the Tour, only Andreas Klöden remains in contention.
"I can tell you what happened from the car perspective," said Team Manager Johan Bruyneel after the stage. "We don't know how the crash happened, but I just spoke with the guys and we were basically on the right side of the peloton near the front. They came out of an open area into a covered area and they all went off to the right.
"We had a few guys right there: Levi, Haimar, Markel and of course Chris. He was the worst. When I got there, he was lying in a ditch and was very shaken. It was obvious he'd hit very hard. He finished the stage and I think basically he's OK physically ... But we're taking him to the hospital to have a scan. He doesn't really know where he is right now or what happened. We'll see what the results are but I fear the worst.
"Obviously it's been three difficult days for us with Jani crashing out, yesterday Levi crashing and again today, and now maybe losing Chris. We'll see what the damage is tonight and tomorrow morning and then we'll go on."