By Kirsten Robbins in West Windsor, New Jersey
USA's Tim Johnson of Team Cyclocrossworld.com was forced to give up his USGP lead and watch Sunday's Mercer Cup, series round four, after a torn bursa on his kneecap prevented him from pedalling. The US national cyclo-cross champion took the USGP leader's jersey after winning Saturday's Mercer Cup, series round three.
"This was the toughest race to have to watch today," Johnson told Cyclingnews while watching the race. "It's not a bad accident. It's just something that happens in 'cross." Johnson crashed into a wooden stake while on his way to victory during the previous day's event.
"It hurt when I was riding and I saw a hole on my knee and some blood but I didn't realise how bad it was until later. I went to see the doctor and he gave me told me that I broke the bursa on the top of my knee cap and gave me some medicine."
According to Johnson, his doctors expected his knee to heal with several days of rest. However, the points lost in the USGP standings are quite possibly irreparable. "There are still two races in Portland but I lost so much today."
Todd Wells took over the USGP leader's jersey after winning the round four event. The newly crowned leader acknowledged Johnson's setback after his podium presentation.
"I'm sure it would have been a different race today because he's riding so strong this year and these were great conditions for him," said Wells. "It's a bummer that he's injured."