Heading into his first year in the Elite class of the UCI circuit, Norco Factory DH
rider Elliot Jamieson had big plans. The team has expanded this year, and with a full season under his belt last summer, 2020 was looking to be a big year.
Then, like the rest of us, his goals, his life, and his race season spiraled into utter chaos – but you’d never know it, with his laid-back demeanor and positive outlook!
Words by Elliot Jamieson
Previous to the COVID-19 outbreak in BC, I was over at school at the University of Victoria studying in the Biology program, preparing for the busy final exam period.
Balancing school and training this winter has been a new challenge in comparison to my previous off-seasons, but it was an amazing experience and I loved living in Victoria. The riding scene on the island is rad, with super-talented riders of all disciplines, so there was always a good ride crew to go out with.
Only a few days before departing for the first World Cup DH race of the year in Lousa, Portugal, we got word the race was cancelled due to Covid-19, and everyone was left scrambling.
The change in plans was a surprise, but it let me shift my focus back to school – but within days of the race’s cancellation, they announced that the university was shutting down. Classes were cancelled and moved online, and students living in residence were sent home to keep everyone safe.
While none of us knew how much things were about to change, what ended up being the night before the Covid-19 pandemic escalated in BC, some friends and I decided to blow of a little steam in Tofino with some camping and surfing before heading back to the mainland.
It ended up being a great time, and we were lucky to have it, because the few days changed everything.
Just before heading back to the mainland, we learned that a student at UVic had tested positive for Covid-19, and due to the circumstances of the student being around UVic where we had been, I had to self-quarantine for a two-week period from friends and family.
Luckily, my girlfriend and I were in the same boat, having spent time together at school and camping, so we’ve been able to quarantine together at her house for the two-week period, away from our families.
So – what does a pro athlete do when you have to spend time alone, not get sick or injured, and not risk spreading Covid-19? I’m still figuring that out every day.
We’ve been able to hike up Burke Mountain (which has since been closed to the public), I’ve built up my new 2020 Sight, we’ve gone swimming at Sasamat Lake, and I’ve managed to get some low-key skateboarding in, too.
I’ve also been working on helping create content for Norco and our other team sponsors – with no races to attend, we’re getting creative with how we get the word out. Stay tuned for the result of that!
As for bike time, I’m just now getting back into light trail riding (keeping things mellow) and spending time with home-gym workouts to keep fit for when racing re-starts – but we have no idea when that’ll be.
Follow Elliot and the rest of the Norco Factory team on Instagram @NorcoFactoryTeam