A busy and rewarding mountain bike season has come to an end for the Sunshine Coast’s Forrest Riesco.
Riesco capped off his competitive season finishing 45th in the elite men’s category at the World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
“Just to be invited to compete at the World Championships this year was amazing,” he said. “Being my first year as an elite rider, 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.”
He said he was scrambling a little in the first days of practice and didn't really feel comfortable on the track until race day.
“I had a good clean race run and pedaled the hardest I ever have,” he said. “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 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.”
Overall Riesco said he had a great season that was filled with highs and lows. But he is certainly motivated to have an even better year next season and plans to work extra hard this winter.
“I had a couple bad races and crashes, but I learned from those mistakes and finished the season a more experienced and faster racer,” he said. “Having the chance to race in Scotland, Italy, South Africa, Quebec and B.C. — 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 feel that I have a lot to work off this winter, I know what I need to improve and I have a pretty good idea how to do it. 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.”