PIEDMONT — A professional cyclist suffered head injuries Sunday in a crash during the Foothills Classic cycling race near Piedmont that morning.
Race organizer Mike Poe said David Carpenter, 22, was riding downhill on Cottaquilla Road just before the intersection of Alabama 9 when a dog ran out in front of Carpenter, causing the crash.
Poe arrived shortly after the accident, and said Carpenter was conscious but showing signs of short-term memory loss. Carpenter had abrasions on his face and was bleeding from the ear, Poe said.
Carpenter was airlifted to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, and was released later Sunday evening, Carpenter’s team manager, Jack Howland wrote in an email to The Star.
Carpenter was racing in the men’s pro race with teammates on the Village Volkswagen Elite Cycling Team, based in Chattanooga.
Howland wrote that Carpenter received several stitches in one ear and a concussion, but a CT scan showed no other injuries.
“He did have a pretty bad concussion, but knowing David, he is probably in very good spirits, nonetheless,” Wrote Howland.
“There’s a place right there on Cottaquilla, towards the bottom of it, that’s notorious for having a lot of dogs that come out,” said race director Curtis Cupp.
Poe also said the area is known to have dogs that often jump out at passing cyclists.
“We weren’t totally shocked,” Poe said, speaking of a crash in that area involving a dog.
Poe described Carpenter as “just such a nice guy. I talked to him for a long time to try and keep him awake. It’s really tough to see that.”
Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.