American Jacob Rosenbarger is a member of the BMC Pro Cycling Team. John Wikswo caught up with him for Cyclingnews on a flight that was taking Rosenbarger to his first race of the season in Fresno, California. The Colorado-based rider was happy to be escaping the clutches of a tough Front Range winter for some California sunshine, and he looked forward to the chance to race with his new team:
Excited about his place on the BMC squad, Rosenbarger said, "It's a new team, it's their first year. It's important to start the season with a good showing - especially with a new team. All the other guys want to see how it shapes up, how good the equipment is, how fit the guys are."
Rosenbarger has been racing for ten years, with the last five as a professional, but his career got off to a rough start when he was involved in a life-threatening accident during his first pro race. "I got hit by a car in a race six years ago, broke my femur, and stopped breathing during surgery. I was at a pretty low point. It was a big success the first time I rode my bike after that accident."
"My break was high, near the head of the femur, but I was back on my bike in six weeks. My problem was that I stayed conscious the whole time. The race was a big road race in Riverside. I laid on a gurney for seven hours before they took an x-ray to see that the neck of my femur was broken. Lots of road rash. Three days in ICU after surgery."
Ironically, the car he hit was a police car. "I dented a quarter panel. I went across the hood, and my leg hit the metal frame above the bumper."
The accident was a twist of fate that impacted his personal life, too. "From that, I met my future wife. That made this a most positive experience. She's the soigneur for that team (Jittery Joes Coffee Company) and waited by my hospital bed for three days. That shortened my recovery by months. Now she is the soigneur for our BMC team."
Read the entire Jacob Rosenbarger interview here.