Park City Teens amaze at LOTOJA
September 29, 2009
Despite losing one of their teammates who had gone to college, Parkites Peter Johnson and Tanner Putt and Salt Lake City friends Bobby Cannon and Conner O’Leary finished first in the relay division in the Logan to Jackson (LOTOJA) 206-mile bike race. This is their second year of winning the race and the fifth year a Park City team has won the relay division.
The team, named "Butts, Sweat and Gears," began several years ago with Johnson’s father, Bill, who then to passed it off to a younger set of riders last year.
Johnson said the team had a good start with Cannon who rode the 35 miles from Logan to Preston, Idaho. Last year, Cannon crashed one mile from the end of his ride and barely finished his leg of the race before going to the hospital. This year, he started the team out in first place.
The handoff then went to O’Leary, who had to battle what Johnson described as a massive hill climb. O’Leary rode the 45 miles from Preston to Montpelier, Idaho, and was able to put the team two minutes ahead of the next team.
Putt was able to stay ahead of the second team as they made the 45-mile ride from Montpelier to Afton, Wyo.
Johnson, who raced for the first time last year, took the fourth leg of the trip, a 35-mile ride from Afton to Alpine, Wyo.
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"I’m probably the weakest on my team," he said. "My job was basically to make sure no one caught up to me (or) passed me."
Johnson then handed off to Putt, who got back on his bike for the 55-mile ride from Alpine to Jackson, Wyo.
"He’s really strong," Johnson said. "A 95-mile ride for Tanner is a normal ride for him."
Johnson said Putt kept most of his energy for that last leg.
"He killed it," he said. "I handed it off to him dead even with the rest of the pack and he immediately attacked it from the start."
Putt finished 10 minutes and 30 seconds ahead of the second-place team, a larger lead than last year.
Johnson said this is the last year the teenagers will be racing together as they plan to go their separate ways next year. It is unclear whether a new set of riders will take on the team "Butts, Sweats and Gears."