Parkite Tanner Putt bummed after concussion forces him to miss Tour of Utah
Tanner Putt, a Park City native living in Boulder, Colorado, was scheduled to compete in the Tour of Utah this year for team UnitedHealthcare before finishing the season with the Colorado Classic, which begins on Thursday.
However, Putt crashed during the Littleton Twilight Criterium, a race in Denver, two weeks ago, sustaining a concussion and bringing his season to an early end. Putt said he went over the handlebars of his bike and hit his head during the crash.
Understandably, Putt isn’t happy with the way his season ended.
“Those are my favorite races of the year,” he said of the Tour of Utah and the Colorado Classic. “They are my home races, both of them, and missing them is always a bummer, especially for a crash.”
It was his second consecutive year missing the Tour of Utah after a torn labrum kept him out of the race last year.
Like last season, Putt and the UnitedHealthcare cycling team spent the winter training in Colombia and started racing in Argentina in January. The team then traveled to Europe for two months before returning to the U.S.
Putt, 26, said he was pleased with his results from several of the European races this season, and was also happy with his performance in the Tour of California, where he said he rode with three breakaways.
Though he said he had no “big wins” this year, he said his season had gone well up until his concussion.
Had he ridden in the Tour of Utah, one of his main jobs for UnitedHealthcare would have been to protect his team leader, Travis McCabe, and lead him into a good position that he could sprint from.
McCabe, who has won the tour twice before, won the first and third stages of this year’s race and established himself as the race’s dominant sprinter, though he sank to 53rd in the general classification by the its finish.
Putt said he would have liked to have been there, but biking is out of the question for him at the moment.
“Nowadays, people know how dangerous concussions can be, especially falling and hitting your head and getting a second concussion,” he said. “I’ve tried to really be careful this past week, and I’ve literally sat in a dark, quiet house for about a week really hoping to get better by (the Colorado Classic). But I’ve tried to ride a couple times and I just get headaches and dizzy on the bike, so it’s just not safe to race.”
So, for now, Putt is taking time off and looking at his options. The end of this season was scheduled to be the end of his contract with UnitedHealthcare, and his injury accelerated that process. The team is also in search of a lead sponsor, without which it will collapse.
Now, he’s looking at other teams in anticipation for next season, and hopes to sign on by mid-September, though he would not mention any specific teams.
“I’m talking to a few teams, but there will be a few more talks before we get stuff rolling,” he said.
Park City Mountain Resort is scheduled to start limited summer operations on Saturday, including the operation of PayDay lift for hikers and bikers.