If you don’t recognize the name Joey Foresta, don’t worry. We had never heard of him prior to the Sea Otter
Classic earlier this year. By the time that
race was over, though, we had a feeling
we’d be hearing about him for the next 10
years or more.
Joey was only 14 years old when he
showed up at the Sea Otter this past
spring, but he decided to race in the pro
men’s division in dual slalom at the event.
That’s unusual in itself.
Sea Otter’s dual-slalom race is wide-
ly regarded as the most prestigious in
the world. It’s been that way ever since
dual-slalom racing was dropped from the
UCI World Championships at the end of
2001, when Brian Lopes won the title.
According to the Sea Otter’s rules,
riders with a “racing age” of 15 can enter
the dual-slalom event’s Pro class, which
means that any rider who turns 15 before
the end of the year qualifies. That’s how
Joey qualified, even though he was technically only 14.
Well, to make a long story short, Joey
made it all the way to the final round of
the event, knocking out one top pro after
another. Joey finally lost in the finals to
his GT teammate, Martin Maes of Europe,
who had won the event in 2015. It was a
close match-up between them, and Joey
lost narrowly. Three months later Joey fin-
ished third in dual slalom in the men’s Pro
class at the U.S. National Championships.
Clearly, the kid is fast. He won his age-group national championship in dual slalom
three times back when he was still racing
as an amateur. He also won his age-group
national championship in downhill this past
summer. What’s more, he won that title
for the fifth time. You know a rider’s good
when he’s won eight national championships before his 15th birthday.
Joey won’t be able to race pro downhill
until he gets a little older, but we expect
he’ll be doing that soon. When we checked
his downhill race time at the USA Cycling
GT’s Joey Foresta