The injuries from Chris Horner's violent crash in last month's Tour de France continue to surface. Although Horner's most obvious trauma following the crash appeared to be a concussion, he can now add a blood clot to the growing list of injuries. The professional cyclist, who races for Team Radioshack, was hospitalized last night with a blood clot in his lung.
He also suffered a broken nose, fractured rib and deep bone bruising due to the crash. Fluid on his ankle and leg tendons have caused pain and prohibited him from riding since his return to Bend until only a few days ago. The 39-year-old Horner is being treated with blood thinners and his season is more than likely over.
Horner's high-speed crash during Stage 7 of the Tour threw him from a narrow French road into a deep ditch, where he laid motionless for many seconds, while he was assisted by his team managers. Ultimately he remounted and finished the stage, but was obviously disoriented and taken to the hospital immediately following the finish. He was unable to continue racing, and returned to Bend to recuperate.
Although he was upbeat just a few days ago when interviewed for an upcoming story in the Source Weekly, this is definitely an unwelcome setback for the veteran racer. Still, he is known for his tenacity and optimism, and is planning a return to the highest level of professional cycling in 2012. Asked if he's planning another run at the Tour de France, he responded emphatically.
"Absolutely," Horner says. "The crash doesn't put any fear in me to avoid (racing). It comes as part of the job. Do crashes put some kind of hesitation in racing? Absolutely. But does it keep me off the bike? No."
Read more of Michelle Bazemore's interview with Chris Horner in this week's Source. On stands Wednesday in Bend and around Central Oregon.