America's Chris Horner will not contest next month's Vuelta a España after breaking his collarbone at the weekend's Tour of Elk Grove. The Astana rider broke the collarbone on Stage 2, however it wasn't clear at first if the injury would put him out of September's Spanish Grand Tour.
The team has now confirmed Horner won't recover in time for the event, where Astana is aiming to take its second Grand Tour victory of 2008. The squad, run by former Discovery Channel boss Johan Bruyneel, won May's Giro d'Italia with 2007 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador.
Horner was competing at Elk Grove as a part of his preparation for the Vuelta. The rider 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 Spanish Grand Tour.
Contador is expected to enter the Vuelta as one of the favourites to win the event. The Spaniard would have benefited from having a rider like Horner, who has been in strong form of late, to ride for him.