Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW East Coast Factory Team) has strengthened his lead among the American’s hopeful to participate in the 2004 Olympic Games by scoring an amazing second place finish in the NORBA National Championship series finale August 16, in Durango Colorado. Bishop was ranked fourth overall after the five-race series, and was the second placing American in the standings.
In a season that has been remarkable, Bishop truly amazed himself with his top placing in Durango. There, the racecourse was situated between 8,700 ft and 9,700 ft above sea level, a very straining elevation for endurance racing. The same course was used as the very first UCI World Cup event and it featured smooth narrow single-track sections and switchbacks sewn together with fireroad climbs. There was a rolling lower loop that was technical, and after a rainy week, the course became tacky with slick exposed tree roots.
Jeremiah commented on his second place finish after the race, “I knew I had a good shot at it when I managed to stay with Jeremy [Horgan-Kobelski] at the top of the mountain. We had caught Walker Ferguson who had given it everything he had to get away. Once we hit the single-track section I knew I could have it, I knew my chances were good. There were two short power climbs that I was worried about. When I got to the crest of the second hill, I put in a little more power. In the last quarter mile of the course had six water bars, big jumps, in attempt to check the speed of the riders [coming into the start/finish]. But I didn’t use my brakes at all. It was fast! I just gave it everything I had.”
It was an exciting finish. Bishop rolled through in second place and was shortly followed by Horgan-Kolbelski. The two Americans shared a high-five and enjoyed the completion of the NORBA National Championship Series. ” I was ecstatic”, Bishop noted,” that each race in the series was completely different, that the races were fun, and that the results were a dream come true.”
Bishop will enjoy a week of training back home in Harrisonburg, Virginia, before traveling to Europe where he will spend the month of September competing in a series of international contests including the World Championship Cross Country event, the UCI World Cup Finals, and a Swiss Cup mountainbike race.
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