US cyclist Chris Horner’s second place finish at the week-long Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday must be difficult to swallow, even after his remarkable comeback from a career-threatening crash at last year’s Tour de France.
The 40-year-old RadioShack cyclist, who lives in Bend, Oregon, lost the overall lead and the championship to Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali in the final 6-mile individual time trial at San Benedetto del Tronto.
Nibali (Liquigas) had battled to within 6 seconds of Horner on Monday. Roman Kreuziger (Astana) was in second place, 5 seconds behind.
On Tuesday, Swiss time trial master Fabian Cancellera (new this year to RadioShack) set the fastest mark on the course at 10:36 to win the stage.
Nibali finished in a 20-second slower time, in 20th place. But it was enough to beat Horner, the last cyclist out on the course, who place 45th on the stage.
Horner suffered a concussion in a crash during the 7th stage of last year’s Tour de France. Although he finished the stage, he was clearly disoriented as he climbed into the team van, not knowing where he was.
In addition to the concussion, he had suffered a broken nose, cracked ribs and a blood clot in his lung in that crash.
His results at the Tirreno-Adriatico, his first race since the crash, proved he has returned to form.
Other Americans at Tirreno:
42. George Hincapie (BMC Racing) 16:34
120. Andrew Talansky (Garmin) 53:12
134. Tyler Farrar (Garmin) 1:06
More results at CyclingNews.