OGDEN — A bicycle racer is out of the intensive care unit after suffering injuries during the LOTOJA race on Saturday.
Retired dentist Douglas Cottle, 62, fractured his face and the tip of a finger during the race from Logan to Jackson Hole, Wyo.
He is recuperating at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden.
“He just needs a lot of rest, a lot of down time,” said Cottle’s daughter, Alissa Parker.
Parker said her father is taking it one day at a time.
“He’s doing well,” she said. “He has his good days and his bad days.”
Parker said Cottle regularly competes in the 206-mile, one-day race, which this year had about 1,500 cyclists.
Robert Verhaaren, 42, of Mesa, Ariz., died during the race after falling about 35 feet from a bridge in Wyoming into the Snake River.
Saturday afternoon, during the race, Verhaaren swerved to avoid a pothole and crashed on U.S. 89 about 8 miles from the finish line.
Organizers said Verhaaren is the first fatality in the race’s 30-year history.
LOTOJA spokesman David Bern said they have not found a cause for the accidents this year.
After discussing the matter with USA Cycling officials, Bern said, race organizers learned that this year’s LOTOJA had fewer accidents than in previous years, but the accidents it did have were more severe.
Accidents in Idaho and Wyoming marred this year’s race.
Besides Cottle, another cyclist ended up in the hospital, race officials said. In all, there were about six accidents that day.
Organizers bill LOTOJA as the longest one-day bicycle race in the country sanctioned by USA Cycling.