Bishop starts off Trans-Sylvania Epic on winning note

Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) rides toward a win in the stage 1 time trial at the Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) rides toward a win in the stage 1 time trial at the Trans-Sylvania Epic. (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)

Three-time Trans-Sylvania Epic winner Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) kicked off the 2014 edition of the seven-day mountain bike stage race on Sunday with a victory in the opening time trial.

"I'm tickled — it's a great win for Sho-Air / Cannondale after a dry spell. Whatever happens the rest of the week, I'm going for it," said Bishop to Cyclingnews.

"I won't lie, I'm always a little nervous — you never know with the mechanical aspects or how you are going to feel. Your knees need to hold up, and this is rough terrain. This is the rockiest stage race course out there. It's enchanting and fun to ride, but to race it is like walking on eggshells — you're worried you're going to break your bike."

Bishop is going for the triple crown of US stage races this season, starting with the Trans-Sylvania Epic and then onto the Breck Epic in Colorado and the Pisgah Stage Race in North Carolina.

"It's been a couple of years since I've done all three. It'll be awesome to see how the week goes," he said.

Bishop feels like racing the Trans-Sylvania Epic is a bit like racing near his Harrisonburg, Virginia hometown.

"It's a little bit of having a home advantage for me. I'm coming from just four hours away. I just have to keep it together."

In addition to the other domestic stage races, Bishop will compete in the US Cup finals in Colorado Springs, Colorado in late June and another to be determined international stage race in the fall.

"Which one depends on the team goals and budget," he said.

"Looking ahead to the coming days," he said, "I have a lot of energy and a lot of good form lately, and I'm going to take it day by day and try to sink my teeth into it."

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.