A successful mountain bike season has landed two Sunshine Coast riders on Canada’s national team for the upcoming world championships in South Africa.
Forrest Riesco from Gibsons will compete in the elite men’s division, while Holly Feniak of Sechelt, who is the reigning world junior champion, will compete again in the junior women’s division.
The national team is comprised of 32 athletes — 12 downhillers and 20 cross country riders — who will compete from Aug. 26 to Sept. 1. Twelve of the 32 athletes are from B.C.
“I am very stoked to have this opportunity,” Riesco said. “It was a huge goal of mine throughout the off season and during the season, but because it is based on only three races, I had to put it to the back of my head and take every race as it comes and not think about or worry about making the national team. Luckily, all of those races came together for me, and I squeezed into a qualifying position. It has been an amazing season so far and much more than I had expected.
“To be able to compete at this level and be vying for spots on the national team with Canada’s fastest racers is a very cool feeling and opportunity.”
Riesco plans to leave for South Africa around Aug. 20. The national team will be providing ground transportation, accommodation and food for the two-week trip, but he has to pay for his flight and a $1,000 team fee. He is hoping that the Sunshine Coast community will help out with his fundraising efforts. You can see more about his racing season on his blog at http://forrestriesco.blogspot.ca/.
His recent results, along with results of other Sunshine Coast riders, helped earn him his spot on the national team.
At the Canada Cup race at Sun Peaks on July 6 and 7, Riesco was first in elite men while Magnus Manson of Sechelt was first in U17 expert men. Then at the Canadian downhill championships on July 14, Manson was first and Riesco seventh in their divisions. See all the recent results in the sports ticker on page 44.
“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,” Riesco added.
Coast Reporter reached out through Facebook to get comments from Feniak, but did not receive a response by deadline this week.