Horner leaves hospital in high spirits after training crash

The 42-year-old was struck by a car last week during a training ride in Italy

PARIS (AFP) — Vuelta a Espana champion Chris Horner left the hospital in a jubilant mood Wednesday following a training crash with a car last week.

The American Lampre-Merida rider was taken to the hospital last Friday after being involved in a crash while riding around Lake Como in northern Italy.

The 42-year-old, who became the oldest grand tour winner in history at last year’s Vuelta at age 41, suffered a punctured lung and four broken ribs in the accident.

But he has now left the Lecco hospital and gone back to his home in Como.

“I’m happy I can come back home, it was a bad experience, but I also think I was lucky: the crash could have had worse consequences,” Horner said in a statement released by Lampre. “I still feel pains when I move. I know I must be patient, I hope I can soon pedal on the rollers.”

Horner also suffered cuts to his head and bruises to his elbow in the accident.

Before his Vuelta victory, Horner’s previous best finish in a grand tour was ninth at the 2010 Tour de France. Two years later, he finished 13th at the 2012 Tour.

His other notable results included an overall victory at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country) in 2010 and the Amgen Tour of California in 2011.

He was also a reasonably successful rider in the spring classics, with top-10 finishes at all three Ardennes classics in 2010.