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3 need treatment after cycle race

Staff writer

Of the nearly 500 riders in Sunday’s Florence Grand Prix, three suffered injuries serious enough to require medical treatment.

One rider with a suspected fractured leg was taken to St. Luke Hospital.

Organizer Patty Putter said race officials had not confirmed whether the rider’s leg was broken.

Another rider fractured ribs in a wipe-out, and the fractured ribs punctured a lung.

As of Monday, Putter said, he remained in a Wichita hospital.

“We had a guy pull up in a four-wheeler who had a separated shoulder,” Putter said. “His wife was going to take him to the hospital.”

Apparently, an ambulance was summoned instead. Dispatchers had Marion ambulance meet the county backup ambulance at 11:16 a.m. at US-50 and Main St. in Florence to take a rider with a shoulder injury to St. Luke.

Then, at 2:39 p.m., a patient was transferred by Hillsboro ambulance from St. Luke to Ascension Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita.

Putter said race officials had no official count of riders treated at the scene but not taken to a hospital.

Organizer Bruce Skiles agreed that officials knew only about more serious injuries.

Overall, he thought, the number of injuries was minimal given the number of racers in the Grand Prix.

This year’s track was planned by organizers Tobe Moore and Ben Bowers.

While last year’s race was over muddy ground, this year’s race was over drier ground.

“It would have been nice if we’d had somewhat of a happy medium,” Skiles said. “We did get some trucks out there before the race to put down some water.”

Sunday’s dust and reduced visibility might have contributed to accidents, Bowers said, but this year’s accidents seemed to be flukes.

“We’ll give it a month’s rest and start planning again,” Bowers said.

The Florence race is one of only two Grand Prix races in the nation that organizers are aware, Skiles said.

Last modified May 31, 2023

 

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