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Paul Hodgson photo

Paul Hodgson photo

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Mid season race report!

Hello!

First I want to say sorry for the lack of updates, aside from my posts on my Facebook page I haven't had any time to do race reports.  It's a little hectic when I get home from a trip, by the time I unpack and rebuild my bike I'm already busy organizing the details of my next excursion. 



The start of the season has been good.  I'm not exactly ecstatic about how my results look on paper, but I am very happy with how I have been racing.  I believe you can break down racing almost to a science with preparing mentally, physically and mechanically, but there is always going to be things that are out of your control.  For a 4 minute track I can get to the start line and know that I have every piece of the track memorized and dialed.  Down to braking points, shifting points, how hard I will pedal, where to take a recovery breath, where to get a bit loose and where to keep it steady.  But there will always be variables such as a loose rock in a corner or a mechanical issue.  Aside from learning a lot about my riding style, my mental preparation and my bike setup I have learned that to be a racer (Or at least a decent one)  you have to except that some things are out of your control, so you have to be satisfied with yourself for putting down a 100% effort. 
 
With some really awesome tracks on the schedule for the next few weeks I am excited see what I can do!

I will be leaving for  the Mont Sainte Anne and Windham World Cups next week.  I couldn't be more happy to race MSA again as well as see what the Windham track has to offer, as I've heard only good things about it.   After that I head straight to Crankworx for the Canadian Open DH.   I am in the process of planning out what races I'll be attending after Crankworx,  it also depends on whether or not I make the cut for the National team at the end of the season.  I will send out an update as soon as I have more info on that. 


2014 results so far: 


Cairns World Cup, Australia: 37th (46th in qualifying)
-With the help of the Beare family this trip was a success!  I can't thank Dennis, Jesse, Lesley and John enough.   The race track was gnarly to say the least, with the rain during practice the first few days it was a challenge just to keep moving and upright.  Somehow I managed a clean qualifying and race run!  I didn't over think anything and it was so slippery that going faster actually made things easier.  I also got to do quite a few days of riding after the race and got the full local tour, which was very cool as you don't always have a local connection everywhere you travel.



Sunshine Coaster DH: 2nd
-This was a bit of a tough race,  I got back from Australia a few days before and was struggling a bit to get over jet lag.   I absolutely hate excuses though so I always try to switch those around to things I learned.  I was stoked for the up and coming local racer and friend Magnus Manson to take the win!  But I wasn't very stoked on how conservative and safe I rode.  I learned that I need to get out of my comfort zone more often and take more risks. 

Tremblant Canada Cup, Quebec: 9th
-I am fortunate enough to have some awesome friends in Quebec, which makes all my trips a lot easier.  I felt really good in practice and was pushing it a little bit and having a lot of fun riding.  My race run wasn't anything special, I struggled with some of the sections as I hadn't practiced them at full speed before my race run.  I ended up coming out late on a corner that lead onto a bridge, I fell off the bridge but managed to ride it out.  I was surprised with how far I was back with my time and knew that I needed to start testing my limits in practice a lot more.



Fort William World Cup, Scotland: 87th in qualifying
-I was having a lot of fun on this track.  Unfortunately the morning of qualifying I missed practice, so my warm-up run was my qualies run.  They changed the practice schedule the day before, but I had no way of being aware of this, so I was a little frustrated to say the least.  I placed 87th in qualifying, so I was very close to that top 80.  But on the upside I was able to walk up and down the track Sunday and watch the race, which was very cool!  I made very good use of my time off the bike and examined the riding styles and techniques of all the top guys.



Leogang World Cup, Austria: 74th (46th in qualifying)
-I finally felt like I was pushing my limits a bit while I was practicing and it showed in my qualifying run, placing 46th in a field of over 240 elite males.  I rode a bit tight in finals and was a few seconds off my qualifying time, so I ended up 74th.



Schladming IXS Cup, Austria:  22nd
-I had a few days of riding in Schladming before the race and it was AWESOME!  ha ha.   The track was a lot of fun to practice on.  One of my goals was to let loose on my race run and I accomplished that.  I "foot out flat out" drifted a few corners.  I was hoping for a top 15 but the times at the end of the day were very close and I was up close to where I wanted to be. 

Panorama Canada Cup, BC: 7th
 -I felt really good in practice and was riding on the edge in some sections.  In my final run I pushed it, but when I analyzed afterwards I think I pushed it a little too much.  I over rode the track I felt.  I noted this and moving towards Nationals I felt I was closer to being able to putting down a run I was happy with.



Sun Peaks Canadian National Championships, BC: 6th
-For some reason this track just suits me.  It's fast and open!  I felt amazing in practice and knew that I was pushing it and I was on pace.  I had a solid seeding run finishing in 5th.  I knew with getting my shifting and pedaling dialed I could shave some time.  My finals run was perfect!  EXCEPT for halfway down my chain started to slip, I got it to sort of work thru the bottom of the track but coming around the last corner and finish straight I couldn't pedal so I coasted the last 20 seconds of track.  I ended up 6th on the day which I was surprised and not surprised with at the same time.  It was one of those runs where your pushing it, but it doesn't feel risky because your on autopilot.  I was 3/4 of a second off my seeding time and only a few hundredths of a second behind of 4th and 5th.  The next few days I spent thinking "What if?".  But looking at the big picture I was riding exactly how I wanted to and I had finally figured out the equation of good race runs.  It was unfortunate that I had a mechanical at the end of such an awesome run, but the upside is that I had a AWESOME  run and I feel confident that I can do more runs like that, minus the not being able to pedal part though of course.



Cheers!  And thanks for a taking a interest in my racing!

Forrest


Also a shout out to the new Coast Gravity Park here on the Sunshine Coast!!  This place is amazing! Check out some GoPro clips I got while riding there a few weeks ago.

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