Bountiful • Robin Carpenter sat in the medical tent with scrapes up the sides of both legs, his back and arms. His jersey was completely torn, his helmet was cracked and his riding gloves were being cut off his hands with scissors.

“I’m in a lot of pain,” Carpenter told the medic.

The Hincapie team member crashed about 25 miles into Stage 5 of the Tour of Utah on Friday, falling 15 minutes behind the peloton.

Nevertheless, Carpenter staged an epic rally in the Layton-to-Bountiful leg to finish fourth, behind winner Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthCare), Marco Canola (Nippo-Vini Fantini) and Logan Owen (Axeon Hagens Berman).

Carpenter sits at seventh in the overall standings, with first place and the yellow jersey still belonging to Robert Britton (Rally Cycling).

“Having a crash just blows,” said Carpenter. “But it’s not the end of the world.”

However it almost was the end.

After passing a quick concussion protocol test — answering questions such as ‘What is your name? Where are you? What color are your shorts? What day is it? — and conducting his own test of standing on one leg with his eyes closed, Carpenter determined he was ready to go.

But there was another problem.

With a cracked helmet Carpenter was not allowed to rejoin the race until he got a new one. The team car next to him did not have a spare and with no cell reception, the team was unable to reach the other car that was up the road with the peloton.

“I was about two seconds from climbing in the car and calling it [quits] when someone in the broom wagon was yelling how someone had a helmet up the road,” said Carpenter. “[I wasn’t allowed to] ride to get it so I had to walk [0.18 miles] to it. It was probably from 1985 or something. Ironically [that helmet] was probably more dangerous than riding with a cracked one”

Too narrow for his head, Carpenter shoved the helmet on, hopped back on his bike and rode off, ready to rejoin the group.

“It was about a half an hour of chasing,” said Carpenter. “It was a long ways. It took a while before we saw any flashing light but I just stayed calm.”

Carpenter caught the tail end of the peloton, which was split up into two groups, by the start of the second climb up the Bountiful Bend, roughly 20 miles away from the finish line. The two groups reconnected halfway between the top of the climb and the descent. During the final flat portion before going downhill, Carpenter knew it was time to make his attack.

Drifting down the hill, Carpenter was able to catch the back lead group, then, with one sharp turn around a corner, he was in the front on the pack.

Racing toward the finish, Carpenter was neck-and-neck with McCabe, Canola and Owen. In the end he got edged out for third by “a half a wheel.”

Despite not getting a podium finish, Carpenter isn’t complaining.

“I’m pretty happy with taking fourth after a day like that,” he said. “It’s success and I’m still up there on the overall.”

Now, Carpenter has less than 24 hours to reset before the start of Stage 6 — a grueling 61 mile ride from Heber Valley to Snowbird.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “I have no idea [what I’m thinking about tomorrow]. Really no clue. It’s going to be crazy, it always has been.”

kandrews@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kendra__andrews