Anyone who has seen Off-Road to Athens surely felt the emotional pain when Jeremiah Bishop opened the "note" from his fiancé to find her graduation announcement. And when he decided to go home to race NORBAs, only to have his derailleur sheer off at Snowshoe. His Olympic dreams shattered, he settled down to a quiet winter of 2004.
The road to Beijing officially started for USA Cycling this summer, and JB has been hitting it hard. He's having a stellar year, and if he can carry the form into 2007, he'll punch his ticket and be one of the strongest U.S. mountain bikers on the team. With that in mind, he headed down to the Ruta de los Conquistadores in Costa Rica earlier this month, and worked his way into 2nd place on Stage 1, the "hardest race of the year."
Then, on Stage 2, he was gapping the leader and climbing well across the country's largest volcano. But then, on a speedy descent, his front wheel hit some loose stuff and caught a rock, sending him head-first to the ground. Well, not head-first -- his helmet was fine -- but face-first, with a fracture in his cheek, a gouge out of his forehead, two fractured teeth, and a separated upper jaw!
So what did he do? He got up, got back on the bike, and finished the stage!
He's back home and training now, and talking to the media ... be warned, these pictures aren't pretty. All indications are that he will fully heal, with no side effects ... if he does, he has a whole new well of pain to draw from when he re-mounts in his quest for Beijing. Get better, JB, and go get 'em!
4 hours ago