Butler County rider pushes through despite wrecks
The call came over the radio to the rest of the Tour of Pennsylvania race caravan in a frantic tone -- there was a rider down in the middle of the road.
It was one of the worst possible places to crash, on a fast descent on a winding mountain road where cyclists, motorcycles and cars were weaving in and out and whipping around corners.
That rider was Butler County's Turner Johnson, 22, who's riding for the Pittsburgh-based Penn State Cancer/GPOA/Cannondale team.
"I just hit a rock and lost control of my bike at probably about 50 miles per hour," the Renfrew native said before the start of yesterday's Stage 4 from Bedford to Latrobe. "I totaled my wheels, but the bike's good. I suffered through it and made the time cut so I'm ready to go."
Before the Stage 3 crash on Thursday, Johnson crashed in the criterium on the first day of the race and was already sporting road rash down almost the entire side of his right leg. After the downhill crash he had his right arm wrapped in gauze, including a spot on his right hand where he received five stitches.
But as one of only three of six team members left in the race, and with the chance to race into his neck of the woods with the premier stage race in the country for riders under the age of 25, Johnson wasn't quitting.
"I'm trying to make it to Pittsburgh, that's my goal," said Johnson, whose grandparents, father and sister have been following along with every stage. "Once you get riding, the pain of riding overshadows the pain of the wound."
The Penn State Cancer team is last in the field of 18, with only Adam Farabaugh and Justin Brown left. Christopher Kuhl did not finish in time after Stage 3, and they lost Brett Jacoby and Elliot Gaunt on Stage 2.
Johnson, who finished the 60-mile Stage 4 in 65th place with a time of 2:42:07, is 86th overall in a field of 91.
"We have nowhere to go but up right now," Johnson said. "Making it through every day, getting closer and closer to home, and making sure you can finish and do well the last two days is pretty exciting. The closer we get to home, the more exciting it gets."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ Pouncey investigated in alleged assault
- McCutchen homers twice in Pirates’ extra-inning win
- Senate leader Reid steers push to turn Nevada into renewable energy mecca
- LaBar: Kurt Angle preparing for WWE return
- Despite challenges, ride-sharing operations flourish
- Pirates notebook: Similarity found in Alvarez throwing errors
- As suicides spike, new Pa. law to start prevention efforts in 6th grade
- Real estate notes: Cranberry corporate park filling up
- Pirates’ McCutchen might be National League’s most cost-effective star
- Love for shoes an ‘affair that never ends’
- Health care executives juggle dual responsibilities