ICYMI | Catching Up with Cole Thompson | Presented by Gas Gas Canada

By Billy Rainford

Presented by Gas Gas Canada
I’ve been chasing Cole around for a lot of years! | Bigwave photo

#16 Cole Thompson is from Brigden, Ontario. When I first moved back to Ontario from Vancouver back in 2007, Cole and his family were the ones I saw the most. I was driving the 1989 Buick Electra Estate Wagon then and it was, more often than not, parked in the Thompson’s pits from Florida to Texas to Nevada to Europe.

Cole with Dean Wilson and Justin Bogle at Loretta Lynn’s in 2010. | Bigwave photo

Cole is a rider who is always battling for titles and won the 450 Triple Crown Series Supercross title in 2020. Unfortunately, his MX season ended early, and we’ll talk to him about that. Here’s a look at his 2020 season:

Here’s what he had to say when we got in touch with him this week:

Here’s what Cole had to say this week. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Cole. We haven’t spoken for quite a while. Let’s first go back to the 2020 Canadian season for a minute. The MX portion of the series was a tough one for you. Can you tell us what happened? You did the first two rounds and then that was it for the summer.

Cole Thompson: Yes, it was a summer I’d rather forget. A week prior to round 1 I started feeling exhausted and became more worried when we arrived to go racing if I could even finish a moto. I ended up crashing hard in moto 1 injuring my shoulder and ending my weekend early. After round 1 we had a two week break but still feeling exhausted and now nursing an injury.

Going into round 2 it wasn’t looking good for me. Surprisingly, moto 1 I got myself into a good position early and landed myself on the podium. During that moto I was exhausted and I felt worst each moto I did that weekend. Anyways, a couple days later I found out I had the Epstein Barr virus and made the decision to pull out of MX and focus on my health.

Was this type of an issue even more frustrating than say a broken bone? It must have been tough to not have a set time for it.

Yes, extremely frustrating. I reached out to my former teammate Davi Millsaps for some guidance since he was the only person I knew that had gone through the same thing. Right away he started me on a program with lots of vitamins and helping boost my immune system. Within 3 weeks I started to feel better. I’m incredibly thankful for his help and passing along his knowledge.

Cole was a staple on the podium at all the big US Amateur Nationals. | Bigwave 2010 photo

How were you feeling when you came out for the SX portion? Were you 100%?

No those SX races were exhausting, to be honest. I still had the virus active and doing 4 main events a weekend was tough, to say the least.

You ended up winning the SX series, 12 points over #2 Matt Goerke. Were you happy with your riding there?

I was proud of myself. Of course, I wanted to win every race but it just wasn’t realistic. Competition only gets tougher each year and those guys I was battling were on the gas.

Hey, let me ask you about that last race with Matt. What are your thoughts on the way your game of cat and mouse went with him? I spoke with Matt and he wasn’t very happy with himself there. He said he wasn’t very good at it. Lol 

It’s racing. I didn’t think anything he did or I did was wrong. It made for some excitement in the series and around the pits. At the end of the day, I’m racing for wins and championships.

What did you get up to when the season ended? Where have you been calling home?

After things wrapped up I took a few weeks off and enjoyed life. I did some play riding with my much slower big brother Kyle (Thompson). Jokes, he actually flies on a dirt bike still. Near the end of November I went to Florida with my wife and lived at the beach for over a month before getting back into riding at the start of January. 

The race that stands out for him is his come-from-last win at Gopher Dunes back in 2016. | Tyler Spikman photo

I see riding videos of you lately on Instagram. Where have you been training and how has it been going?

I spent 10 weeks training at GPF and now I’m at my parents’ house riding County Line. It’s been an awesome winter, just miss racing my dirt bike. Haha

How is the new bike? 

Amazing. It’s pretty similar to last year but I’m always loving my KTM. 

I know whenever we talk before the season you say you want to do better in MX. Is that the same this year and what do you think will be the difference for you?

Yes, I want that MX championship, especially the way 2019 and 2020 went for me. I have an awesome training program with Davi Millsaps and the best team in Canada, so anything less than winning will feel like a failure.

I’ve chased you around since you were a little kid! How many more years do you have in this game?

It goes quick. It’s weird being the older guy in the class now but no clue what the future holds. I love dirt bikes and racing so hopefully you’ll see me for many more years, but at the same time, results determine how many more years I can keep doing it as a job. 

Watch for Cole this summer as he tries hard to add the 450 MX title to his list of accomplishments. | Bigwave 2013 photo

What about AMA Supercross? Any chance we ever see you on the gate again or has that chapter closed for good?

I want to race it so bad but it takes a massive effort to be competitive. I really don’t want to say the door is closed for good but I’m running out of years to try it again. Hopefully, you’ll see me lined up for 2022 and battling with the best again.

One last thing, looking back over your career, is there one race or event that stands out as a highlight for you?

Gopher Dunes 2016 will always have a special place in my heart. I crashed in the first turn and came from last to first. I want to say my best races are still ahead me, so stay tuned for this summer.

All right, thanks for taking some time with us and good luck. See you at Round 1 and who would you like to thank?

Thank you for the interview. Just a massive thank you to KTM Red Bull Thor racing team for all their efforts. See you guys at round 1.