I wish I could have posted more updates here on the blog, but it’s been a hectic and unreal past few weeks. I have had two days sleep in my own bed at home in the past month. With placing top 35 in my first World Cup finals, securing 2nd overall in the Canada Cup series, and representing Canada at World Championships it’s been a crazy and awesome end to my 2013 race season!
Mont Sainte Anne World Cup, Quebec:
My biggest goal coming into this season was to qualify for a World Cup finals. Mont Sainte Anne was definitely the perfect place to do just that. I had some experience on the track from Nationals being held there the year before, so memorizing and learning the track was a lot easier. I took practice very seriously as I had only one full day before my qualifying run. When my qualifying run came around I had everything dialed and memorized. I took it a little cautiously as I didn’t want to throw it away. I ended up just squeaking into finals at 74th. I was beyond stoked to be able to compete on Sunday. I kept hitting my same lines and was feeling very confident on the track. I had nothing to lose on Sunday so I gave it everything and didn’t hold back. I really had no idea where I would place with a good run like I had, so when I crossed the line I was just so happy I had put together a solid run. It didn’t feel insanely fast because I had every line and pedal section so dialed in practice that it was like a roller coaster and I didn’t have to think about the small details I just “got out of my own way” and let myself ride, not over thinking. I came down and went into the 2nd spot on the hot seat behind Andrew Neethling. I stayed there for quite a while until I got bumped to 3rd and then eventually off the hot seat when the top 40 guys started coming down. To end up 33rd was crazy and exceeded my goals of a top 60 by a lot.
Crankworx Canadian Open/Canada Cup #3, Whistler:
Next was Crankworx in Whistler. The Canadian Open track is the most fun track in BC for me. I had a lot of fun riding in practice! My race run was a little scattered but I put down a solid run and ended up 15th, accomplishing my goal of top fifteen. I was very happy with how it turned out and was relieved that I was in good health for World Champs, which I had to fly out for two days after Crankworx. My placing that weekend secured me into 2nd overall in the Canada Cup series!! I was very stoked on this and I ticked off another goal on my list.
World Championships, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa:
Just to be invited to compete at World Championships this year was amazing. Being my first year as an elite, I wasn’t sure if I would be selected. The Canadian National team wanted us there a week early to get adjusted to the time zone and country, so I left a few days after Crankworx. The first day of practice was a week after we had arrived. The hardest thing to get used to was the dirt, which was either hard packed or loose sand. The track in Pietermaritzburg is a lot of fun to practice with the big jumps and drifty flat corners. Racing it is a bit of a different story though. With a minute flat pedaling section in the middle, it really tests your mental and physical strength. I was scrambling a little in the first days of practice and didn’t really feel comfortable on the track until Sunday morning. I had a good clean race run and pedaled the hardest I ever have. My body felt like it just shut down as I crossed the line. Even with all the sprints and training I did throughout the winter, I’ve never felt that exhausted in my life. I was .04 of a second behind my fellow Canadian Sid Slotegraaf. I had decided before I dropped in for my run that if I leave everything on the track and push it as far as I can that would be a win for me. I did that and finished 45th which I was not super excited about but definitely satisfied with. It was a very cool experience to travel to South Africa, thanks to my awesome teammates it was a great trip! Thanks as well to the the National team staff and mechanics for another amazing World Champs!!
Got featured in a Pinkbike article “35 bikes from World Champs”
Thanks for the amazing 2013 season!!
I know I’ve used the words awesome, fun and amazing a lot in this blog post but it really sums up my season. I had a couple bad races and crashes this season but I learned from those mistakes and finished the season a more experienced and faster racer. Having the chance to race in Scotland, Italy, South Africa, Quebec and BC in one summer was an incredible experience. I have never had the confidence in my riding that I have now. Accomplishing my goals, and exceeding them in some cases, is a pretty cool feeling.
I didn’t have the budget to attend the last two rounds of the World Cup this year which I was a little disappointed about but it just makes me more motivated to acquire the support to race a full World Cup season in 2014. I feel that I have a lot to work off of this winter, I know what I need to improve and I have a pretty good idea how to do it. I will try and take a few weeks off from my bike and training in September, but when I was coming home on the plane from SA I already started thinking about how I wanted to train this off season and where I wanted to be for next season.
Cheers to my family, friends and sponsors who have supported me this season!! I can’t thank you enough for giving me this opportunity to travel, race and just generally have good times riding bikes!!
Follow me on my Facebook page at Facebook.com/ForrestRiescoDH
Or on Instagram at ForrestRiescoDH
The last two weekends have been very exciting for me to say the least, on July 7th I won my first Canada Cup as a elite at the second round of the Canada Cup series at Sun Peaks!! The following weekend I placed 7th at the Canadian National Championships in Panorama!
Canada Cup #2, Sun Peaks Elite podium!
The Sun Peaks course was very wide open, fast and long. Some racers were reaching speeds of over 90km/h down the straight sections of the track. After the first day of practice on Saturday the track got very rough and huge braking bumps formed. It was one of the most fun tracks I’ve ever raced. I ended up getting a little crazy on some sections but I had a clean run all the way down with no real mistakes. I was the seventh to last rider down the mountain so I took the hot seat as soon as I crossed the line and held it till the end. Winning a National race was a huge goal of mine coming into this season and to finally take the overall fastest time at such a big race is a very cool feeling!!
Jumping out of the last corner at Panorama Nationals!
I stayed up in the Interior of BC between the two races and did some cross country riding in Revelstoke. Then I was off to Panorama! The course at Panorama was similar to Sun Peaks as it was dusty with lots of braking bumps, it wasn’t as fast as Sun Peaks though and was almost two minutes shorter. We had Friday practice and then seeding runs on Saturday. I put in a good smooth seeding run and placed 6th. For race day I knew I could shave off a few seconds, though the track was so much rougher and looser then the day before that the race times were very close to the seeding times. I placed 7th overall with a solid run. Considering all of Canada’s top racers were there I was very happy to place how I did and be able to compete with them at that level.
I will be up in Whistler quite a bit within the next few weeks training and riding. Then I will possibly be attending the Silver Star BC Cup, then the Mont Saint Anne World Cup in August. The Canadian Open/Canada Cup #3 at Crankworx will be the deciding race for the National team and how I place there will most likely determine what the rest of my season will look like.
Facebook page: Facebook.com/ForrestRiescoDH
Thanks to Stephen Exley for the photos! Check out some of his events at facebook.com/SSBCCup.
At the beginning of this season I shot a video with Alex Savage from Savage Films. I didn’t know what to expect as Alex is mainly known for his rock climbing videos/movies and had only done a few short mtb videos before this. I was more than happy though with the finished product and am very stoked with the reaction to it on Pinkbike!
Here is the link to the post on Pinkbike http://www.pinkbike.com/news/video-Fast-Forrest.html
It was posted yesterday (Monday) on the front page of Pinkbike with a little write up as well as some photos from a local photographer I work with, Paul Hodgson.
A Like or Share would be hugely appreciated on Facebook, thank you!
Last week I had two awesome training days up at Whistler, it was really good to have some time to dial in my bike, work on my riding and do lots of laps with good friends. This week I am heading up to the Sun Peaks Canada Cup #2 and then to Panorama for Canadian National Championships the following week.
Last week I got home from a three and a half week trip to the first two rounds of the World Cup series. It was a great trip and I had a lot of fun riding the new tracks and traveling to the new places!
Fort William, Scotland was the first race. First day of practice on Friday was a bit of an eye opener to how fast and rough World Cup tracks really are. Practice was very short so I struggled a bit to dial in my lines, but I was also having a lot of fun riding the wide-open track and hitting the massive jumps at the bottom. Qualifying on Saturday didn’t go very smoothly, I was on a good run until I had some small mechanical issues and slid into a tree halfway down which stopped me for a few seconds. I finished 103rd in qualifying, 5 seconds off that top 80 qualifying spot. I was a little bummed, but was happy to have survived my first World Cup!
Got a cool photo in the Vital mtb qualifying slideshow at Val di Sole. vitalmtb.com/photos/features/QUALIFYING-ACTION
Then I was off to Val di Sole, Italy. The track was insanely rough and full of G-outs. Again it was hard to get up to speed and be ready for qualifying after only six or so runs down the mountain. In qualifying I had some close calls that I was able to ride out of but I also had two that stalled me up and slid me into the tape. I finished 113th, 5 seconds off that top 80 again. I felt good, but just couldn’t put full runs together.
Photo from the road gap drop at Fort William
After Val di Sole I stopped in Venice for three days of being a tourist before I headed home.
I didn’t come away with the best results, but I definitely learned a lot and gained a lot of experience riding those tracks. Its a big step in my riding moving up to race the World Cups as an Elite, but with these first two races under my belt I know what to work on and know what to expect for the next races. I feel confident in how I’m riding and know what I can do, just have to put it all together.
I am heading up to Whistler for a few days of riding/training this week and then I’m off to the second round of the Canada Cup series at Sun Peaks and Canadian National Championships at Panorama.
My schedule for the rest of the season is a little unknown right now as it depends on points and placings at the next National races. But I will be attending most of Crankworx, probably the Mont Saint Anne World Cup and then possibly World Champs or the last two World Cups.
This past weekend I placed 4th at the first round of the Canada Cup series in Quebec! I was very happy with my result as it was my first national race as an Elite.
I had a little over-the-bars crash first day of practice on Friday, and tweaked my wrist. It was an annoying little injury, but I taped it up and was able to go for two runs Saturday. I also found a Ergo grip, the ones with the extra palm support, which cushioned my wrist and made it possible to ride.
I put down a solid race run Sunday and surpassed my goal of a top five finish. My placing got me UCI points towards racing more World Cups as well as gaining me points to work towards qualifying for World Championships at the end of the season.
My new Banshee Legend was awesome the whole weekend, and it definitely got some second looks as I rode by. Had lots of good comments on the colour and how “sick” it looked.
I am off to Fort William, Scotland next week for the first round of the World Cup series, then I’m headed to Val di Sole, Italy for the second World Cup. Can’t even explain how excited I am! It will be amazing to ride those WC tracks, and I am very stoked to have this opportunity.
Below is a short video by Vincent Allard of the race weekend. There are a few shots of me in it, including the podium at the end.
This past weekend I took the win at the Sunshine Coaster DH! It was my first race of the year and my first race as a Elite. I grabbed the overall fastest time of the day with a near perfect run.
It was a great start to the season and my work in the off season is starting to come together. It was my home track so I already knew all my lines and kept my practice runs to a minimum to keep me fresh for my race run. The Mach Chicken race track here on the Sunshine Coast is very smooth and flowy so I opted to ride my new Banshee Spitfire V2. It pumped thru the flat sections with ease and handled like a DH bike on the corners and rough sections, could not be happier with the setup!
The Tremblant Canada Cup in Quebec is in the middle of next month and after that I am off to the first two rounds of the World Cup series.
Excited for a fun season of riding bikes ahead!
Work, Ride, Train, Eat, Sleep. Those five words pretty much explain the past few months for me, I have been getting a lot done on and off the bike. It will continue to be this way for the next month as I am training and saving up for a big season! It will be my first time racing World Cups as well as my first year as an Elite.
I recently got out to shoot some photos with Paul Hodgson, a local photographer and rider. I was amazed at how they turned out, take a look below and check out his website at phodgson.com
I’ve also created my own Forrest Riesco athlete Facebook page, a Like would be greatly appreciated. I will be posting updates on my racing, training and travels.
This is my first year out of school and I’m loving the freedom of it!! I can now fully commit myself to my goals in riding including training and funding my racing. I got out for a quick XC ride with a friend Brett Wildeman who was also able to snap some shots. The snow is moving in and its threatening to take away our trails!
Thanks to everyone who helped me out this season and made it a great one. It was very successful for me and I was very happy with where it took me. I placed 2nd overall in the Canada Cup series and qualified for World Championships which were two of my biggest goals coming into the season. Of course I had some crashes and some unlucky races such as National Championships, but that just makes me hungry for next season and pushes me to bust my butt this off season.
From my finishes at the Panorama Canada Cup (3rd overall) and World Championships I gained 20 UCI points, which allows me to race World Cups next season as an Elite. This is very exciting for me and I am already planning out what it would take to race a full World Cup schedule for 2013. Being a graduate opens up a lot of opportunities for me this winter. I will now be able to commit myself fully to funding my racing, and setting up a full training schedule.
Below is the latest project Jazz Chodak and I have been working on for Natura Media. We are planning to release monthly episodes showcasing our riding, traveling and training. We are having a lot of fun filming and hope with more experience we will be able to make a name for ourselves.
Cheers to a great season!!
A few weeks ago I got back from World Championships in Austria, I was invited to represent Canada on the National team as a Junior. It was an amazing trip in every way, it was cool to ride a World Cup level track and it was a lot of fun spending a week with the team in Europe. I ended up 25th in finals on Sunday and took the top Canadian spot in Junior.
The support the National team provided was amazing and made for us as athletes to be able to concentrate on our riding and enjoy the experience.
The first day of practice on the course was a little intimidating as the track was dry and everyone was getting up to speed very quickly. Friday’s practice was a whole different story though, it rained all Thursday night and most of the day Friday . I put on the mud tires and with the mechanics figured out some fender systems. Saturday the track was very similar and we had timed training. I rode quite conservatively for my timed run, and ended up around 40th, it was tough to read how hard everyone was pushing but it seemed that everyone did go pretty hard. I walked the track later that day and looked for some ways to shave a few seconds for tomorrows race. Sunday morning it was still very muddy and I had a bit of a over the bars crash on my final practice run, I got a little bruised up but nothing too serious. My race run was good, my feet blew off the pedals once but besides that it was a fast and steady ride. It wasn’t anything amazing, but I was happy to stay on the bike and put in a time that wasn’t too far off my top 20 goal. I was stoked to take 25th in finals and the fastest Canadian Junior time of the day.
This wraps up my race season for this year, it was so much fun and the best one yet. I am looking forward to taking a bit of a break and than getting into my off season training. Being graduated opens up a lot of opportunities for me this off season and I am looking to commit myself fully to my goals and aspirations in racing for 2013.
Thanks to Chris Vezina for the photos,