On Sunday April 30, 2017, amateur and professional bike racers from the
US and beyond gathered in Dana Point, California for the 11th Annual
Dana Point Grand Prix. Worthington & Caron founder, Roger Worthington, has been a driving
force behind the event since its inception in 2006. The event raises funds
for local charities and, through the event’s flagship race, the
John Johnson Family Classic, raises awareness for mesothelioma, a cancer
caused by asbestos.
Roger Worthington with Sue Johnson
John Johnson, a Marine and career plumber, had a loving wife, two handsome sons, and
a burgeoning gaggle of grandkids. John and his sons were avid cyclists.
His son Michael would become one of Southern California’s top professional
John was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2011 and passed away from the aggressive
cancer in January 2012. Since that time, John’s family has fought
tirelessly to expand treatment options for asbestos-exposed vets, preserve
the legal rights of all asbestos disease sufferers, and raise awareness
of asbestos cancer and a need for a cure. It is in connection with these
efforts that the family has sponsored the John Johnson Family Pro Race
John Caron, Terrence Latham and Paul Konapelsky
A beautiful, sunny day was the setting for this year’s event. Thousands
of fans showed up to cheer the nearly 800 racers who competed in 10 race
categories on the challenging .8 mile, L-shaped circuit. Southern California
racer Kendall Ryan won the women’s pro race for the second straight
year. Justin Williams, also from Southern California, won the John Johnson
Family men’s pro race, following a commanding “leadout”
from his Cyclance Pro Cycling teammates in the final 4 laps of the 90-minute race.
Also celebrated for their own courage, determination, and grit were John
Johnson’s wife, Sue Johnson, who served as honorary starter, along
with mesothelioma survivors Terrence Latham (7 years) and Paul Konapelsky
(2 years), both residents of Dana Point.
We thank the City of Dana Point for hosting another year of this tremendous
event. We’re already looking forward to the 12th Annual Dana Point Grand Prix in 2017!