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Rob Warner Talks About His Mountain Biking Career | The GMBN Podcast Ep. 29

Rob Warner Talks About His Mountain Biking Career | The GMBN Podcast Ep. 29

– We are here today with
a very special guest. It’s myself, it’s Neil Donoghue, and we’ve got the legend
that is Rob Warner! Rob, how’s it going? – All right, thank-you. Yeah good, nice to be here. – This is a new setting for us, isn’t it? The Mountian Bike Podcast. – Oh, a new setting? Is this the dirt shed? – This is the dirt shed, but I mean–
– I’ve not been in here in this capacity before.
– I mean this physical setup as a podcast. I used to present that
show until I got fired. – (laughs) That’s true. – You actually–
– (laughs) Here you go! Yes, Don! GMBN have just confirmed
that I was sacked. Actually, before we let Rob make it completely loose already– – (laughs) He’s being serious. – You actually haven’t ever been fired. (Rob stumbles over his words)
You still work here! You still work here!
– I did go to sleep during a, I feel asleep during– – You did go to sleep. – We’ve all done that.
– As we’re filming, yeah. – Yeah, for what, a while?
– It didn’t look good on camera. It looked great on camera, actually. It didn’t make the
director that happy – No, that’s right.
– Nevermind. – Most people watching
this or listening to this, probably know who you are, but how would you describe yourself? What is your job title these days? – Presenter, I suppose.
Commentator/presenter? Host, I suppose sometimes,
Euro term is “The Host.” (everyone laughs)
– The Host. Yeah. Those three, that’s it, innit? – You say you’re doing
the racing, obviously most people know you for
always the World Cup Downhill and cross-country as well. How has that been, sort of
doing both of those disciplines? Quite different. – Yeah. It’s nice on a week. D’know what? When I
started doing the downhill, which was for FreeCaster, we
started out on that whole thing with the World Cup Live, and
they made me do cross-country, in fact I think it was the, no it wasn’t, it wasn’t FreeCaster. The first year Red Bull come
in, I had to do cross-country, and I like, “Oh my god!” You know what I mean? I haven’t a clue about it. That first year wouldn’t have been great, but I got through it. Actually, as I commentated
on it over the years, I loved the cross-country,
and I’m talking about, well I love watching it though. You see how hard they
go for an hour and 20, it’s different to the downhill, but a good cross-country
race is every bit as good as a good downhill race, you know what I mean?
– It’s amazing now. Really good.
– I just watch ’em, and I’m like, “You savages, man.” like they just sprint for
like an hour and 20 minutes or whatever it is, hour and a half. It’s the pace of it, you know? I still ride mountain bikes,
more in that capacity, just going out for, well
not like that, but I got light cross-country rides
(Martyn laughs) for 45 minutes, you know what I mean? – It’s sometimes more relatable, I think. I’m the same, I never used to be into it, now I really enjoy watching, I make a point to try and watch
everything over the weekend. And some of the women’s races,
cross-country especially, have been absolutely unbelievable. – Well the greatest probably was, where was it end of last
year, the brass, wonnit? That women’s final last year was, I mean there’s never
been a spectacle like it. There was so much on the line as well. I mean that was, yeah. – Great race.
– Unrepeatable, that was. That race. – But what about personally,
you still ride about? – I ride when I can, you know, yeah. I’m so busy with work, really, but as soon as I’ve
finished work in September then I’m straight on the
bike, and it ain’t easy ’cause I’m never fit, I’m never
getting a routine of riding, so I have to force myself. Been out on my Cyclocross bike this week. – Have ya?
– Yeah. – Cyclocross bike?
– Yeah! – Sorry, I can’t–
– Yeah, I’ve even got a Cyclocross bike now.
– I can’t picture that. Do you get off and run with it? – No, I push it, I walk with it. It’s never been on my back.
(Martyn laughs) Yeah. I even wear some weird
road outfit to look the part. – You’ve got to, really. If you’re going to do it,
you’ve got to dress up. – Yeah, you’ve got to look the part. – That’s what I was going to talk about. You’re well known for loving
moto trails, moto-cross, jet skiing, I see you
do quite a lot of that sometimes as well.
– Yeah, yeah. What’s your favorite thing? Or is it just, you like doing everything? – Motorbikes. – Yeah?
– Yeah. – Moto, or trails? This phone is not on silent.
(Dan and Rob laugh) Did you hear my game go? What do I like the most? D’know what, mate? I’ve done all these sports for so long, since I was four, five years old, with you we did motorbike trails. And I have to switch between a bit, and at the moment, I really haven’t ridden my trails bike for the last 18 months, but I went away on that
trip and everything, and I sort of lost touch with it, and I did a couple of trails
and I didn’t like ’em, and then I did a trail the
other day, and I loved, I did WOW and I rode WOW
again, I was a bit more fit, it’s getting harder for me, my shoulders are getting
more and more knackered, but yeah, and I loved,
and I’m back into it now. But the most frustrating
thing for me is I can’t, you know with trails, even ’til probably four or five years ago, I’d still be out on my
trails bike when I was about, at least two days, at
least two days a week, like out on a Thursday,
and then out on a Sunday, and I just physically can’t
do that as much anymore. I’ve got another elbow surgery,
so now I’ve got to just back it down a bit. And then the dirt bike’s
easier for me to ride. – Is it?
– Yeah. – That’s quite hard to
believe, that’s crazy. – It’s my elbows and my shoulders, and I think the trails is all lifting, and on the dike bike,
it’s almost like the pull, the (mimics engine rumble), the traction, it gives my arms traction in an instant. Yeah, I probably more messed up after a hard drive in a hard enduro. Yeah weird, innit? – This is all injuries from
the mountain bike racing days, or a bit of everything? – I think I counted out the other day, it was 19 bones I’ve broke, but it was only one on the
mountain bike. (laughs) The others were all motorbikes, yeah. I broke me should blade
with a Pete Tompkins, with a JMC shooting the dirt promo in about ’92 or something. And in all that time I was racing, I’ve broke a load of ribs racing, and had some nasty concussions,
but I didn’t like, you know. I’ve broke this left leg
for times, this one once. They’ve all had surgery, stums, shoulder, yeah I’m wrecked, motocross wrecked me. – Yeah.
– But I’d do it all again. (Neil laughs)
– Crazy at the injuries, innit? If you think about.
– Yeah. – I was writing a blog the other day, I was trying to enter how
many bones I’ve broken. I was thinking about other people I knew who’ve had injuries. Especially with these three
particular people in the room. A lot of injuries between–
– Head-on road crash, ain’t ya?
– Yeah that was a few years ago now. I was thinking about this. I was thinking about Petie,
he’s broken a lot of bones, and I feel some of them I feel like, I will feel forever, and
there’s lots over the years that I don’t feel, like broken shoulders, that’s gone. Separated shoulders, I do have
to do physio on those things. – Oh yeah. See that one had surgery. See that? That’s grade 4. That’s fully detached. I had surgery, they put a surgy lig, it was quite a new surgery,
it was a lot quicker recovery. When I was racing, it
failed in about four weeks. Oh, eight weeks. I went back to see the
surgeon, and he said, “No, it’s absolutely fine.
There’s nothing wrong with that.” And I was like, “Well the
bloody bones sticking out.” I went to see another surgeon
a couple of years later, and he was like, “No,
it’s failed completely.” The surgy lig cheese-grated
it’s way through the bone it was attached to. He was like, “I can re-operate, “but it ain’t going to improve anythin’.” But as a result of that surgery failure, and then that’s probably why
my shoulders are so knackered that my elbows are
knackered because I ride a bit more like that,
rather than like that. – Yeah, yeah.
– That s(bleep)t style going on.
(Everyone laughs) Style’s got even worse, I’m
f(bleep)king riding a horse. – But I was thinking, because we were talking
about it before the podcast, about Burnerd Kur who’s
tryina race super cross which is a really difficult thing to do. – (laughs) Is he finding out or what? – Well we’ll soon see
in a few months’ time. But back in my day, in the downhill pits, that was probably what
was talked about the most, was the super cross results,
when we came to the moto-cross. It felt like if anyone could have chosen what they actually did for a job, it wasn’t racing mountain bikes, it would have been racing super cross. – Oh yeah! – And what about you? Was there something that you– – Well Burnie, he does
remind me a bit of like, of what I went through. It’s the fact that,
mountain biking’s mint, but it does pay well. And then you’re going to
spend most of that money pursing a failed moto-cross career, which is sore, and takin’
all the knocks along the way, d’you know what I mean? Which then ultimately
ruined things with me and Giant back then,
’cause I was never riding. ‘Cause I was 8 months a
year injured. (laughs) “Should do that training. “Nah, f(bleep)k it.” Get a cross bike. It was all like that, yeah. But the other side of the coin is, if he does pull it off, and
qualifies and even races the full super cross series, that puts him into this zone of athletes that really you don’t see very often. – No!
– So who can be a World Cup podium racer
and race super cross? That could be–
– insane! A whole new athlete. – Has anyone ever done that before? – Parma.
– Parma once. – But he didn’t race a series. – No, I don’t know if Bernie was to race the series, does he? But no, I think he wants
to do A1, that home one. Parma qualified. – Yeah.
– Yeah. The bike, afterwards, he
put it against the wall and held it flat in
fifth gear for 15 minutes tryina blow it up. One two five, and it didn’t blow up, shredded all the wheel,
tire hanging off it. It was on the wall in his house. – No way. – Yeah, it was like built into the wall, like up on, yeah, yeah, it’s funny. – That’s the sort of crossover. If someone was actually, well
he was snowboarding first, but there aren’t many people
now that actually say, “Right, I going to do this, “and sort of put it out
in the public domain, “so people can choose to follow
along,” or even judge them. – Yeah yeah, why not? I don’t know, I feel
like, good luck to him. I hope he does it, but
I’m not sure he will, ’cause he’s yet to get to
AMA whoops in fourth gear, which is a fair undertaking. (laughs) I don’t know how you build up to that, I guess it takes years,
and he ain’t got years, but you know what I mean,
that’d be, he can jump. Probably a super cross track
would be a bit of an eye opener but you know, whoops and
that, and probably the turns is where he’d lose time, but the whoops, that’s a very different
proposition, I think. Yeah. I’ve seen (bleep)y whoops on
British moto-cross tracks, you know, and they’re gnarly enough, and they’re like mole hills compared to things he’s going to have to hit. – [Martyn And Neil] Yeah. – Fair play though, fair play. – Yeah, why not? Have a go. Men, you’re only young once. And he can get a bike, and he’s doing it. Good on him. – So you deal with lots
of different athletes, even on the video series, which
we’ll talk about afterwards, but as far as cross country and downhill, someone who really
impressed me at the moment is Matthew Vanderpool. – Oh yeah.
– What do you think about that guy? Just showing up and
being as good as he is? – Unfortunately I think we’re
not going to see much of him after next year, I think the Olympic year, but what he’s done is incredible. I think he’s brought another crowd to the mountain bike party to watch. And he just spices things up, don’t he? Like he can go with
Shirter, d’know what I mean? This year we’ve had the
World Cyclocross Champion up against the World
Mountain Bike Champion, and actually van der Poel, when he’s been there has been
arguably the stronger really, on his days, you know what I mean? – It’s been really interesting. – Yeah, especially with
the short track and points, ’cause he’s unbeatable in that,
the points he gets in that. – Yeah. – But he’s a phenomenal athlete. I feel like we’re very lucky
to have him in mountain biking even if he is going to
go to the road after the Olympics next year,
which is the rumor. But they also, and he
said the road’s boring. And he loves to mountain bike. Yeah, I suppose it is, just sit there for eight hours, don’t ya? Chatting it your mates. That’s how it is. (laughs) – It does seem like that, don’t it? – There’s a bit of effort
involved, but yeah. – By the end–
– you can see why they love mountain bike,
I mean it is more dynamic and more like you’re riding
a bike more, ain’t ya? – Oh absolutely. Absolutely.
– So yeah. – So is he going to ride
mountain bikes at Olympics or road at the Olympics? – Mountain bikes, I think.
– That’s what people are saying.
– Ah. – Mountain bike’s going to be
his thing thing at the Olympics and after that, that’s
when he’ll switch to road. I’m not sure if that’s
absolutely confirmed, but that’s what– – No I don’t think it’s absolutely
confirmed, that’s right. I mean it’s like, that’s
what everyone’s sayin’. – What if he doesn’t work at Olympics? Does it change then? ‘Cause Nino is going
to be obviously wanting to win that as well, and the two of them are,
it depends on the track, it looks super technical. – I mean it makes it really– – It looks like a good track.
– Yeah, it makes it really exciting. You think last Olympics, we
had Sagan taking on Schurter, and that looked like it
was a totally crazy option. But for a few punctures,
(Martyn talks over Rob) but it could have worked. – I ain’t going to criticize. How badly let down, right? I think we were by the last Olympic track? Where was it? In– – It was not great. – Well no, what annoyed was, not the fact that it
wasn’t the best track, you got to understand that, I guess. It’s fitting into the Olympic, but the fact that the track
gave so many punctures out. – Yeah, yeah.
– It’s a race that comes around once every four years. The track in Japan looks full-on, but let’s hope it
doesn’t create punctures, I mean one of those little
sharp rocks everywhere. It takes Sagan out. It was like the spectacle was ruined, and I was so gutted. – It took Sagan out twice. – [Rob] Exactly. And Abson flatted, didn’t
he as well, I think? – My take on the Sagan thing was, that a roadie showin’ up and trying to ride a mountain bike hard and puncturing, because– – Well that’s a good point,
I hadn’t seen it like that. – I mean I could be completely wrong. He could be, you know– – It is part of it. The field, as I remember, it was decimated by flat tires a bit. And I was like, a race that’s
only on every four years, try and have a track
with no flats. I dunno. – So you think Sagan–?
– I’m being weird? – I think–
– Is he ill-experienced as a mountain biker and it cost him?
– Yeah. – That’s a very good point
and it’s actually Nino, he didn’t flat, did he?
– Exactly, yeah. – No, that’s a really valid point that is. I hadn’t even thought of it like that. I was just (bleep) off
’cause I wanted to see– (Martyn and Neil laugh)
– Head to head. – Well that’s good, innit? When people come from other sports, it creates such a lot of interest for ya. – Especially like van der Poel,
where they are rising stars or already a star like Sagan, and they bring that attention that shows actually how cool what we’re doing is. I mean it sounds like the younger brother asking for validation, but it’s pretty cool that
some of them will show up and do that. – Yeah!
– And it’s sort of like, Bernie’s doing in super
cross, it’s like, yeah. It’d be so good for him to go and– – van der Poel’s turning up in
mountain bike races. (laughs) It is weird, I don’t
we’re going to Bernie with a big AMA number one
plate on the front of the – [Martyn] You never know! – at the end the summer, ’til
the end of the winter, yeah. – You never know. – No.
– Well we do, well we do. Yeah, but yeah.
– Yeah, he won’t win. He ain’t going to win it. He ain’t going to win the series. If he survives first
round, that’d be something. – What about downhill? There’s been injuries this year. The biggest one I’m thinking of is, I’ve forgot his first name, Brook Donald. – Oh yeah!
– A savage crash and it’s a shame not seeing
everyone see the season out, but it was another
incredible year for downhill. – Yeah, one of the best. Every year I sit at the start
of the year and I’m like, “Well that was good last year. “Surely this year isn’t
going to be as good.” D’know what I mean? And every year it really
keeps getting better. I mean that finals in Snowshoe was like, literally, down the ark, the
last man down at sauce hit, was mad, wonit? – I felt a bit sorry for Danny actually, because it was such an incredible run to win that race, but the
main news wasn’t that, ’cause the French guys. But yeah, Amaury Pierron and Loic Bruni, you’ve got to think they’re
the guys to beat now, rather than someone like Gwin, who hasn’t really showed much. – No, it’d be interesting
to see with Aaron, won’t it? Whether he can actually come back now. He’s sort of had two years more or less, well two years where we haven’t seen him at his best because of injuries. He’s missed big chunks of season, so yeah. I wonder now. Like you say, the momentum is very much, with them two French, it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. Bruni’s incredible, innie? He’s like a doctor, he’s like a professor, he’s so exact, and then he
got Pierron, and he’s just a little bit loose.
– Wild, yeah. – And when he’s on, like in Les Gets, one of the greatest race runs
you would ever see, dude, like two wheel drifting all the way down. How did he even get to
the bottom of the end? – I’m amazed when a rider, we’ve talked about this
on the DirtShed show, and Neil’s like, when one
of these riders in downhill gets on to that vein of form, they’re nearly unbeatable. – [Rob] That’s right. – I don’t know if they ever even, whether they feel it
at the time themselves, or it’s just us looking in on it, but you’re almost, like Pierron– (Neil and Rob talk over each other) – It’s such a difficult thing to– – [Rob] Destined. – And Danny Hart has always
warmed up two seasons and been better at the end,
and then like this one, he’s won the last round year, and then it’s, “Oh no,
it’s the off-season.” – Yeah, yeah.
– It feel like it’s so hard to then come back in
absolutely at the top again. You can come in and get into the top five, well I can’t obviously, but
someone like Danny Hart can, but it looks like he finds it
quite hard to come in and win. – It’s that level. I got in a lift with
Danny at one of the last, in Snowshoe, after Qually
or somethin’, and he said he was just (bleep) off, ’cause he had been close all year, but he just couldn’t beat the French. And I was like, “Yeah, but you’re not
having a (bleep) season.” He was a bit down and
I was like, “You know, “you’re (bleep) having a mega season, man. “Look at what you’ve done, “I mean almost every podium, but one.” But the Jay where he just sort
of had a bit of a meltdown because he was tryin’ to beat him so hard, I think really is what happened. And I said to him, “Dude, that
was you a couple of years ago “or whenever it was.” You know when he won three
and then the World’s in a row? I was like, “That was you.” And when you win, and
you’re on that plane, and you’re riding that well
and you’re that confident, you are literally unbeatable. And he went and beat them that weekend. But you know what I mean? That it’s such a weird
game, innit, downhill, like to be in the gate
and to control your head and to ride at your best, to ride how you rode in
practicing a race run? Is almost impossible,
I’ve found this though. – I find it amazing that you can watch nearly all of the qualifiers
come down and they all look faster and faster and faster, and then those last two
or three guys come down, they only go a little bit
quicker on the time sheet, but visibly in every
single part of the course, you’re like, “Well this is much quicker.” – So I thought about this
– How is that? That is so crazy.
– They’re on another level again. – I rode yesterday on my ebike actually, so I was bombing out laps on it, riding some downhill tracks, and I felt like I was getting
good, like the last hour, “I feel great.” – Comeback on the cards? – No no no, but then I stopped, and I was like, “I’m going
to have a little breather.” And you know you sit on your
phone on top of the hill, and then I dropped into another track that I felt I did really
good the last time, but I had a five minute break, and I was like, “Oh my
God. I feel terrible.” (Martyn laughs)
And it reminded me of the downhill racing
days when you basically, you sat around for three hours,
went to the top of the hill, and tried to do one perfect run, after not riding for three hours. It’s such a difficult skill. – Mate, I did a trial the other day, and I had a mint three laps. It was a four lap trial,
and I needed fuel, and I looked in the queue for a section, I was like, “(bleep)ocks. “I’m going to have to stop and get fuel.” I went to the van, I
didn’t speak to anyone, I filled up, I had a drink to
eat, a bite to eat, I’m sorry. Did I say, “A drink to eat”? – A drink to eat.
– Who knows? – You can do that.
– I can do whatever I want, anyway I refreshed. And then you know, (blows air) got back into the trail and
(bleep)ed it the last lap. And I knew it, it was because– – Just because you broke the rhythm. – Yeah! Like what the how? How is that, you know what I mean? I just felt knackered all
of a sudden, like done me. – I feel like that is the
magic of downhill though. The half of the appeal for me is just someone just having one go, at doing this thing,
and if you mess it up, if you snap the chain out of the gate, for most people, it’s done. And that’s what’s so good about it. – Yeah that is what’s so good about it. It’s so frustrating as a rider, but as a spectacle, it has
to be one run, forever. – In the women’s downhill,
don’t get that bane of form, it’s not quite as obvious
because there is like, been a huge amount of dominance, range over a much bigger period. I guess it’s because there’s not quite the depth of talent at her level. But this year it’s been really
different because obviously the race she had, put
that season together. And then World’s, I don’t
know, I just didn’t think at the start of the year
we’d ever have seen, what is it, Marine? – Myriam? – Myriam.
– Myriam come back and be World
Champ at the end of it. – Mental, huh?
– Yeah, you’d never have guessed it. But it’s a really exciting season. – Next year’s going to
be brilliant, innit? – These people struggling still.
– They’re all going to be in. I think Rachel, that was quite a– – Do you think Rachel won’t be in? – I don’t know. Who knows? But I know coming back from
that is not an easy thing to do. – Big injury, man. She’s had an amazing career. – [Martyn] Yeah. – But dunno if she’ll come back. – Do you not think? – I don’t know. No, I don’t know. I literally mean, “I don’t know.” But it would be, yeah. – The thing is if she comes back– – come back but she’s
going to want to win, and she’s just had so many injuries, man. How many times can you? That’s baiting, she’s no doubt
thinkin’ about having kids, and you know all that sort of stuff is. She’s been at the top forever. I hope she comes back. – What’s crazy is she comes back, she probably will win races. (everyone speaking)
– She will win races, yeah. – She won’t come back and not win. If she gets halfway through
the season, she’s nowhere near, that’d probably, I would
imagine she wouldn’t be there. She’s only there to win
races if she’s there. – Yeah, yeah. She’s an out-and-out
racer, but yeah, dunno. I dunno. To be honest, when
she did it, I was like, “That’s Rach done.” And then when I watched all
her, the way she reacted at Wales from home on her Instagram, I was like, “That’s a woman who “is missing mountain bike
racing, and she will be back.” It’s really really hard decision
I suppose, really innit? It’s blooming difficult for all of us, ridden sports like, see
those last days of the ride, and you think “I’ve got to stop.” (everyone speaks)
– You take another big knock like that and you can’t bloody, you’re on crutches for
the how many months? It’s a massive recovery for that. Yeah, it’d be interesting. Let’s hope she comes back, and we can relish seeing
her up against Vali, Tahnee, and Marine, and Myriam of course, you know, then you got
Hoffman in there as well. I mean it’s–
– When is Vali Holl going up?
– Next year. – Is it? It’s going on?
– Yeah, it’s on. It’s on. – It’s going to be amazing. – [Rob] This is the year of all years. It’d be nice if Rach was
part of it, wouldn’t it? – What about your mountain
bike racing career? Did you find that hard? It felt like you went straight in to what you’re doing now, but
did you find retiring–? – Yeah a little bit. Well, I should have retired about eight years before I stopped. (Neil laughs)
you know what I mean? I say I didn’t like the
mountain bike racing that much, and I really did when
I started up until ’96, ’97 was my best year. ’98 I got a three year
deal with Giant, so I mean, that was a bad move on their part. So I didn’t do anything for two years, and then in 2001, I was like,
“Oh, contract’s up again. “Better do something.” And I got back to 11th overall that year I think in the series. Which was all right. – But–
– Great. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – But that was the ticking time bomb of me actually tryin’
hard and doing very well. Once I won that World
Cup and the year after, I was sort of done with it, really, but the money kept me going. But I much would have rather
been racing motorbikes, which I was doing. And I hurt myself all the time. But yeah no, it was, yeah dunno. It was a weird demise
from the sport for me. And then the TV went, and the trucks stop comin’ and all that. I just lost interest in
it really, at the end. As a racer, and the pressure done me in. I didn’t like it. – All right, but you
weren’t in the situation where you really wanted to
do it and you were then, you couldn’t find the money to do it, so was that difference, the sort of way that you
found something else to do? If you were like, “Well maybe I don’t want “to do this anymore anyway, “so let’s find something else to do.” So that would be my situation, I wanted to do it but I couldn’t. The money wasn’t there anymore. – No, not really, I was happy
enough out sign out, yeah. No, I didn’t want to do it anymore. I didn’t actually ever
properly retire or anything because I still got money
off Giant in two thousand, I think it was like 2006,
I was still getting paid. It was ’06, and then I
went to Vego to race, and I was on my hands and
knees at the start puking ’cause I had been drinking.
– I remember. – Yeah! And it was the only time I
failed to qualify and I took it as being on me even though I was literally sick at the start. And then I didn’t qualify, so that was on me and I was
like, “That’s not good.” You know what I mean? I’d like
be a bit better than that. Although, honestly, I’d been drinking
heavily the night before. I drank half a bottle of cough medicine, I was hallucinating. I had this tick, no not because of the, I had a tickly cough, right? And you know when you have a tickly cough? – Yeah.
– I kept taking a bit more, and a bit more? Anyway, I remember I
was in this restaurant. And I was looking at this aquarium, and all the fish started
to do strange things. And then I looked at the bottle,
and I drank three quarters of a bottle of cough medicine. So yeah, then I started drinking and then I was violently ill the next day. I even had my haircut that night. I went from long hair to skin head, I just didn’t match (bleep). – But you didn’t get locked up like one other famous British downhill– – No! Old flower pot smiley coming back to bite, didn’t they Petie dog? (Rob and Neil laugh) And Bertie was completely
innocent in that, and that’s the sad (bleep) about that. They both ended up in a cell together. – [Neil] Is that right? – And Lee, you know, poor soul. (Rob and Neil laugh)
Innocent man he is. Hoofed in there ’cause of Petie’s wrong, anyway we shouldn’t talk about it, really, ’cause you know.
– Well it’s– – They still can’t go into Spain. – It was on the newspapers
because Peaty won the race, and it was hero to zero on
the newspapers that day. – Have you just said “Hero
to zero” about Steve Pete? (Martyn and Neil laugh)
That’s terrible. God, it was a long time ago. – It was. 2005/6, was it? – [Rob] Something like that. But anyway yeah so– – You downhillers, man. I don’t know. – I forgot the point of my thing was, that year I was also doing X-Fighters, Red Bull asked me to do
X-Fighters ’cause I done a bit of, they interviewed me
somewhere, and was like, “Oh he’s quite good.” And next thing I was
doing X-Fi, that was it, I was just (bleep) World Cup off. I didn’t go to another one. And just had a good time doing X-Fighters, which I didn’t ever think would
lead anywhere at that time. But I loved it, ’cause it was motorbikes, (mimics engine revving) like
I was just going and watching the world’s best freestyle
motor-cross races. Incredible, yeah. – Was it a difficult job? To commentate and host and all that stuff? – Well I was a co-host,
so Ed Leigh was the anchor, and obviously I learnt
an amazing amount off Ed about how to do it, ’cause
he’s a genius at live hosting, like he really is, you know what I mean? So for him I was like his
apprentice in some ways. And I’ve learnt most
of what I know off him. I’ve learnt a lot more in recent years, you know, because I’ve done it on my own for so long now on the World Cup, but yeah that was the foundation of it. And I only met Raymond
Dulieu, who owned FreeCaster at an X-Fighters, and he thought
I was this big time TV host ’cause I was with all the Red Bull lot. (Neil laughs)
And he was like, can you commentate on
some mountain biking? And I was like, “Well I’ve
never done it before.” Anyway, long story short, a year later he found out
that I raced mountain bikes. He thought I was a TV
host, not a mountain biker. And that’s how I got into FreeCaster, and that’s why I drank so
much, ’cause I was so nervous, like I had four pints
before we even started the first one in Maribor, and then you know, it kind
of (blows air through teeth). – And that’s something people
wouldn’t necessarily know when they see you commentating, is that you do take it very
seriously, you really– – Got my research done. Then I started to have a lot of booze to deliver it, yeah. – Yeah well I guess the booze is less now, but you take it–
– None now. None. I don’t drink now, no.
– Take it really serious and you get nervous. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – Well, you know what’s weird now, I don’t get nervous at the TV job anymore. I get nervous for the big races, and quite often I feel like
I’m not as good at a big race. So Val di Sole will get me,
’cause I know it’s like. I love it, and I know that,
whoever wins is doing everything and taking massive risks,
so you’re aware of that. And I want the commentary to fit it, and it’s like, so you build
it up and build it up, yeah, I sweated so much in Val
di Sole two years ago, or something, or when it
was, when was Worlds there? I can’t remember. But I got freaked out ’cause
it wasn’t the same job I do every week, but I was
thinking about the race. And I sweated this shirt out. I had to go find me a
plain, black the-shirt. Yeah yeah, it was weird.
– Crazy. – Yeah, yeah, just get excited
for the big ones still. It’s a bit like racing. – Great.
– Yeah, it’s great! – And that energy comes across. That’s what’s amazing about
it, you’ll infuse everyone, and it builds, and I guess it’s not easy to build that energy over,
how long are you on air for? An hour and a half? – Well, for the women’s as well, probably near three and
a half, four hours. Yeah. – So you’ve got to pace it. D’you know what I mean? – You’ve got to pace it. I don’t know how we do it half the time. But you’ve always,
(sigh), it’s a tricky one because you know that the weather might, sometimes you know that, there
might be 30 riders to go, but the weather or the truck or somethin’, and you’d be like, or
you had a bad qualifier, and you know that can be the winning run, but you’ve got to think about
that might be the winning run. So then sometimes you’ve
got to go a little bit like, Well, if you think it’s a winning run, I’m going to naturally go large. It’s a bit of a, yeah, yeah. – Do you ever watch the races
back to see how you did on it? – All of them, yeah. Yeah, quite often watching
back that evening, mate. Sometimes I go back and
watch ’em straight away. Yeah, then I’ll go out or somethin’, not so much on the double
headers, but on single head, you know when it’s just a stand-alone. Once I get to the doubles, and then it’s one week
to the next, not so much. But yeah, I always watch the
races back as preparation for the next one. – There’s a lot of work that
goes into those productions. A lot of people, if you go to World Cup, you see their truck and
you’re obviously doing stuff before the live racing as well, so there must be a lot of
preparation for all though. – Oh there’s masses of preparation, yeah. Masses of preparation. I mean, yeah like you see, normally we spend a day at home, watching a couple of
replays, and updating notes, and what-have-you, and
you’ve got to keep your eye on all the websites,
but then we get there, I get there say, on a Wednesday, and then it’ll be writing the scripts. There’s four sort of
pre-show scripts to write, so I come off a run down,
which is like the BTs and then you write the bits in-between, as the presenter. And then we build on it from there. And then you bring the co-host
in, and start working out what you’re going to ask ’em, and yeah you just build a pre-show. We have to do four of them, so
that’s the challenge really. – It’s pretty amazing I think. Sort of industry we all work in, that you’ve got a bunch of, like yourself, your next racer, but making
these TV-level programs, if not better than TV,
’cause this sort of thing, mountain biking has never
been on TV as good as it is on the internet. It’s pretty crazy–
– No, that’s right. – people to produce
this, that really don’t. A lot of them don’t bat
in ran what they’re doing, – No.
– are making this thing that everyone does enjoy watching. – No, it’s mad, innit? Yeah, it’s, yeah. Honestly it’s a solid team
of really really good people, that ain’t be being
cheesy or kissing arse, that’s the truth, man. Everyone who works on that production. There’s nowhere to
hide, everyone’s pinned. When you do live tele,
sporting events I suppose, especially, I’ve never done anything else, but yeah it’s quite, but that’s part of it, but it is graff. I love it, I love it, sometimes I like the fact
that I’ve commentated all day, been up at nine in the
morning, done two pre-shows, commentated four hours, I go back to the room, and
I might be getting ready for cross-country, and
then at eight o’clock, they’ll be like, “Right we’ve
got to have a script meeting, “’cause things have changed.” But I dunno, it’s just part of it. It’s exciting, you’ve
just got to keep moving and it keeps ya on your toes, yeah. – Do you think there’s some parallels to world of being an athlete? I think back in the day as an athlete, from my perspective, there
was a lot of partying as well, was a big part of downhill. That doesn’t seem like it’s quite there with the races anymore.
– No. – But do you feel you’re carrying
that on with your career, or is it all–?
– Oh my. No, the party had to stop. (laughs) Like massive. I can have a couple of
beers in the evenings, but you won’t find me
drunk really at World Cup, until the last one, I
can’t, you can’t do it. – You can’t show up hungover to do a TV– – No! To be on, basically
I’m working from nine, ten in the morning. And also when you’re
commentating and that, there ain’t nowhere to
hide in that commentary. If I’m tried and hungover,
you’re going to know it, man. I’ve never done, since
I’ve worked for Red Bull, with any alcohol in me,
maybe early, very early on. In fact I know I did,
’cause they search the booth and found a few beers.
(Rob and Neil laugh) Right at the very start,
right at the very start, but no I don’t dream of it, man. I feel like I’m privileged
to get to talk about these, world’s best, man, like
what a thing to sit and watch, and it’s me that
gets to relay some info about it to the crowds, so you’ve got to treat
those with absolute respect, no matter what the
discipline or what the sport. They’re the world’s best and that’s that. You’ve got to do it properly, that’s that. – D’you ever think about the numbers, like the numbers of
people that are watching all around the world? (laughs)
– No. Never. – It’s quite big.
– Yeah, that’s right. No, I never do really. No. No. No, I like commentary,
really I love the commentary, ’cause you get in there, and
it’s like, me and Cloudy, or me and Bart, screen, headphones, everything I need is there. – Who’s your favorite? Bart of Cloudy? (Rob groans)
– That’s a hard call. Cool, yeah. (bleep). Oh my god. I dunno, I mean. – Don’t answer. Don’t answer that. – I really like Bart actually. I think he’s such a,
the insight obviously, he’s been there and done it– – He lives it.
– He’s great at– – He lives mountain biking.
– Yeah. – That’s the thing. He’s like, there ain’t no
need to give him a shake up to go and find something out, you know he knows absolutely everything. He’s incredible, he’s a genius. Yeah, he’s brilliant. He’s fun as well, mate. – And obviously he has the experience. – First ever Olympic champ, you know? But he’s still out there now
doing about 800 mile a week. (Neil laughs)
Yeah into a head wind in Holland. (laughs) In the driving rain, you know what I mean? He loves it, mate, yeah. – Well let’s talk Wild Rides. Let’s talk Wild Rides. Tell us about your new series! – Yeah, that’s right!
– It’s epic! – It’s pretty good. Have you seen it? What d’you reckon of it? – I’ve actually not seen,
I feel terrible, Rob. – God. Oh my God. – [Martyn] I’ve seen the trailer. – Trailer was good.
– But I haven’t actually had time to sit down and watch it. – Series is going down really well. – Yeah, yeah well I’ve
heard very good things. – Yeah!
– So tell us all about it. – It was four month trip, in one hit. I got back to the UK two
days before Marabourgh, so I had a couple of nights, I went straight to first world cup. And I went all over the world, basically it was literally
like, the storyline is, “You’re going to go here. “You’re going to try
to find the best trail, “you’re going to go an ride it, “and you’re going to meet a lot
of weird people on the way.” (Martyn laughs) – Pretty much, yeah.
– I think so, that was sort of how it seemed, yeah. And we did do a lot of weird, weird stuff. – So who’s “we”? Who’s “we”? Who is it? I did the first two, Ecuador
and Columbia with Finn Iles. Then I went to Nepal with Olly Wilkins, then I went to New
Zealand, Kenya and Lesotho with Matt Jones. – Wow. – What? – [Offscreen Person] Crashed. – Oh he had a big one in the
middle of nowhere, didn’t he? Yeah, massive–
– Oh that must be dodgy, like obviously, middle of nowhere– – Yeah, like, you know, they’re
all better riders than me by a long way, and I knew I had to make it through four months, man. It was like, and they even
called it “Rob’s Wild Rides” or something, I was like,
“I can’t be getting ‘urt.” So that was a bit, towards the end I started to ride a bit better as well. Just ’cause I had been riding a lot more, but it was definitely
in the back of my mind. Not so much, because of
where we were though, it was more like, “I
don’t want to not finish “this series, man. I need to do it.” Really harder than people
thought to balance that, really. Well, I dunno. The trails are blind, so the
film crew would ride down, and they’d be like, “Oh,
he’s up against the clock.” And they’d be like, “Right, go!” In the later shows, I started
to have a bit of a wonder down and a look, but I had a few near misses. Yeah, I had a really big
near miss in Ecuador. (bleep) me did I. Yeah. Bloke told me to pedal and
pull up, and I just sat there and it was actually afterwards,
I was just going down with altitude sickness, and
I could see this little jump, and I was like, and I
just rolled up to it, (bleep)er me, it was
like an eight foot gap, about (bleep) 10 foot deep,
like a big water thing with concrete edges. – Oh.
– Yeah, I (bleep) dunno. I don’t know how I
managed to pull over it, but if I had been a foot
shorter, I’d have been in real. That would have been it, yeah. – Out in the middle of nowhere. – Yeah, bottom of a
volcano, that was, yeah. – You got to go to amazing places. I watched the first one, the
Kenya one with Matt Jones. And then the Sutu. Pretty amazing, you get
to go to these places. Whose idea is it to go to those? Someone saying to you, “Rob,
I’ve got this great idea. “Why don’t you go here?” – Initially that was, and
then we did give some feedback on places we’d like to go. – New Zealand. – Huh?
– New Zealand. – Yeah, exactly. I’ll go
to New Zealand, mate, yeah. I’ve never been to New
Zealand before, yeah. That was probably the
hardest one to make actually, because of the lack of culture shock. D’you know what I mean? When you go to Africa,
or if you go to Ecuador and someone’s eating a gerbil, I mean that’ll blow your mind. – Yeah, right. – The tribe we saw in Kenya. Mate, first up, they sacrifice the goat, which is in the show, but they didn’t. And actually of course,
it’s a difficult thing. What? They needed water. What? – Well no no, that wasn’t
why I was laughing. I’m not just sayin’ it’s funny. Not that they killed the goat, but. – Laugh at animals being killed. (Martyn and Rob laugh) – Carry on! – Anyway, so yeah so they
needed like, for water or whatever but you know as
soon as they cut its throat, old mate was there, like the
main artery was (gathers spit) I’ve never seen like it, mate. He was like (glugs). – What, drinking it? – Yeah! Drinking blood
– Oh no! down mate. Yeah! And then they caught the
rest of the blood in a pot, and while it was congealing is it? – Yeah.
– When it starts, it was shaking and it was all like, it was like a big ska did it. – Oh man!
– I was offered it, man, this congealed blood, it was so bad. – What did they do with it? – Drank it, ate every bit of the goat, make a thing out of its skin. What, they did all that
’cause you turned up? (offscreen people laugh)
– No, they did it because, no they didn’t, d’know what? – That wasn’t like a sacrifice
because Robert turned up. – No! No, it was a sacrifice
because it hadn’t rained for four years. – And that was going to help, how? – How is–
– Well that’s just what they believe, so this is
what they’ve always done. They had two virgins
down there, like, yeah. No they did to watch this sacrifice, it was like a religious thing. – What, you and Matt? (everyone laughs) – Yes! (bleep) he’s (bleep). Watch out, you can cut yourself on him. – Amazing, amazing.
– Yeah. But yeah, he did, when we
went back to their house, their mud hut, and matey,
but matey in there, right? Have you ever been in a
proper African mud hut? – Oh yeah! No. – I hadn’t either. But honestly, this one
we went in, it’s so ‘ard. It’s was probably about 18
people lived in it or something. Mate had proudly announced,
he was 60 this fella, he looked about 40, and he had 14 wives, and I
think it was 47 children. He said he wanted to make it 60 children. Yeah, a nice round number. And all of them lived in this mud hut, and it was like, you just
sleep on the floor anywhere. There’s not really any beds. And they have a fire in ’em, which was the most shocking thing to me ’cause it’s bloody hot in Africa. But the fire isn’t for
heat, it’s purely for light, ’cause you can’t see in it otherwise. And there aint’ no chimney or anything. It’s just up there, it’s
such a harsh environment, but they’re all happy, really. It seems like they enjoy their life. – What a thing to experience! Must be amazing.
– Round the village we were in, they just got
all these thorn bushes and like tumble weed, but
really gnarly spiky stuff, mate I goes, “Why d’you
have the boundaries? “To stop all the goats
getting out and that?” He was like, “No, elephants
will crush us in the night.” (Martyn laughs)
You know, like they just bowl through. Yeah, (bleep) like that. Yeah, it was mad. – It’s pretty crazy. It’s as much about the situation than it is about riding bikes,
which I really like. It’s cool to see stuff like that, that you don’t get to see.
– It’s an adventure show, really, that’s right. It’s not just about riding bikes. – Did you show up at any of
those places and anyone know who you were? Certainly none of the locals, no. A few spots here and there, but none of the locals knew me, no. No, no. – And New Zealand was harder because you didn’t really have that kind of… – Yeah, there’s not the shock, you know? Not the culture shock really,
which is kind of what, for me, a show like that
thrives on, it energizes me to find all these new things and that, yeah, a little bit, yeah. – “So what goes on here?” “Crankworks.” “Oh right.” (laughs) – Well, yeah. I mean we went out in the wilderness. We did really go into the wilderness in the second after that. We got like early after early, into this, further and further, yeah we had helis, shooting helis, and all the bikes, and
all the kit underneath it like a pendulum, we’re
following this river up and every time you go round a corner, you’d feel the old weights sway out, and the heli would just
go (mimics helicopter). And you could feel it
getting pulled down, yeah. It was gnarly, mate. Yeah, they’re gnarly. I think I did nine or
10, 11 helicopter trips. And I don’t like ’em. – I was going to say, are
you comfortable with that? – The best one, the best one was we, we’re on Mount Kenya, 5,000m or something? The helicopter could only
just about drop us off, only one of the helicopters,
one had to stay low, it wasn’t equipped to fly
that high on that thin air. Pretty scary, I felt like. You are in Africa, but anyway
the pilot was a right laugh. And one of them, the older
one, I went down with, and we got down halfway, and he was like, “Right, we’ve got to get out of here, “this cloud was coming up.” I was like, “What?” He was like, “Yeah, get in
the bikes, and we got to go!” And you could see this cloud, you’d be stuck there all bloody night. We threw the bikes in the back seat of it, me and Matt jumped in. He takes off, it was so
altitudey, he could only fly flat so he’s flying down this valley,
right above people’s heads. Walkers that were there,
literally, picking up speed before he could go out, he hands Matt his iPod, this big old Apple iPod. Like he’s flyin’ with an
iPod, he goes, “I can’t.” He was like, “I can’t get it to work.” Get AC/DC on or somethin’.
(Martyn and Neil laugh) And he goes, Prince Harry
flew this one last week. And I was like, “What?” He goes, “Yeah, Prince Harry
was down here, and he.” And Prince Harry, they fly him about. So that made me feel a bit safe, and then we started giving
it a bit Apocalypse Now with this fuckin’ rocket, AC/DC playin’. (Martyn and Neil laugh)
And I goes to him, mate, “No chance you can drop us
off at the hotel, is there?” Sort of takin’ the piss. And he goes, “Ha! This is Africa, friend. “We can do what the (bleep)
we like! (bleep)in’ yeah!” He just banked her over and
he literally dropped me, me and Matt, 10 feet from
the front of the hotel. It was hilarious, man. – No air traffic control.
– No, just bowled out. Went straight to the bar
and had a gin and tonic. It was great, (laughs) yeah. Yeah, it was brilliant, mate. – Well you’ve talked me into it. I’m definitely going to catch the series. – So you should, yeah. It’s good. It’s good. It is a good series. – And where is it? Where can we see it? – – Yeah.
– Yeah. – YouTube channel as well, but yeah, Yeah, go check it out. – Rob Warner’s Wild Rides. – Yeah, yeah it was fun. And it was wild. – Are you plannin’ more of these? I know you’ve done meets before. – Meets is comin’ up again now, I’m just about to start
shooting those again, yeah. – Pre-season stuff, or is it, go out during the season I suppose? – It’ll come out next season, I’d imagine, but we’re
starting, we’re going to be doing before Christmas. Tom Pages. – Oh right, yeah.
– Which you know, the FMX bit, hopefully. And Shauna Coxsey the climber. That’d be, yeah. And that’s what I love
about my job as well. Honestly, I don’t know
anything about climbing, started looking at it a bit now, but when you actually watch people like, just climbing, it’s just
insane what they do. So I love sport, I do. Any sport, I can, you know, I could watch World Cup cricket, as long as it’s like of a good level, like really into it, yeah. Seeing the very best do what they do, and you can’t really match that, can ya? – No, absolutely not. That’s a great opportunity for anyone, for someone who loves sport like you do. – Yeah!
– Bring country. – Yeah, it’s pretty good, mate. Yeah, yeah yeah. It’s good. – Right, so what should we do? Should we wrap it there? – Yeah, I reckon. Good chat. – Thanks lads.
– Thanks very much. – Anything usable? (Rob and Neil laugh) – A lot of beeps going on.
– It was all usable, wonnit? – I didn’t swear much today. – [Martyn] No, no. – I think I only swore three times. – [Offscreen Person] We’ll
get the edit to do a little– (everyone speaking) – Did I swear more than
three or four times? – I think it was three. – Three, wonnit? That ain’t bad. You did say, “Do what you want.” – Yeah, absolutely. You’re very interesting actually. I found myself just… – That’s ’cause I talk so much. (Neil laughs)
– Yeah, good at it. – Well I don’t know about “good at it,” it’s like I can’t stop. (laughs) – Right, next week on
the podcast, we have got. – I don’t know. – Andre! – That would be good! – We could never get him,
that’s why we’ve got you here. – Don’t tell me, Prince Andrew. (Neil laughs) – Have you watched that? – [Rob] (laughs) No. – Oh my god.
– Just wait, leave it. Let’s wrap up this podcast before we talk about Prince Andrew! Whoa! Cheers. What was it? Do you even say goodbye? – [Offscreen Person] Say
goodbye to the internet. – Bye. – I’m not sure how we wrap up podcasts.

74 comments on “Rob Warner Talks About His Mountain Biking Career | The GMBN Podcast Ep. 29

  1. Awesome pod!! Rob is the Boss and you guys have an awesome show❤️👍🏻
    But is it just me og is the sound “muting” after almost all sentences?? Maybe it’s just my connection but it sounds horrible.. but keep up the excellent work guys👍🏻👍🏻

  2. 00:15 – Rob got sacked by GMBN?
    01:16 – Commentating on DH and XC
    05:00 – Broken 19 bones!
    10:00 – Roadies coming into XC racing
    16:05 – Danny Hart having a crap year?
    18:57 – Women's DH has been different, will Rachel Atherton ever come back from injury?
    21:45 – Rob retiring from mountain biking.
    23:19 – "I was looking at this aquarium and the fish started to do strange things"
    30:50 – The party had to stop!
    36:24 – Crazy stories from Kenya

  3. World Cup coverage would never be the same without Rob – sure hope he's in the commentating for the long haul. Wild Rides is really incredible too. Never get sick of his stuff!

  4. Absolutely love Rob's commentary on Red Bull, the man's a legend and makes the racing that more exciting with his energy. One of the best podcasts yet, well done guys 🙂

  5. So good! At times the camera was on Neil and Martyn and they didnt know what to say! 🤣
    Although Neil"s "…. you and Matt?" Comment had me pissing myself.

    Great podcast … it doesn't need to be serious racing chat every week. Would love to see more characters of the mountain bike world on the show. Great show guys!

  6. I think I may have found my spirit mammal (a human, to be particular), in terms of on-and-off bike (any bike) activity and fitness (minus the broken bones): Rob Warner. 😂😂😂

  7. Rob Warner – First big personality in British Mountain Biking . But then I am an old boy ! Should of added always comes across as a nice fella.

  8. The noise gate on Martyn’s mic needs sorting, it keeps cutting out when he’s just a little too far away or speaks a little more softly than perhaps initial setup was done. Just a little more finesse needed for a quality podcast!

  9. since when is bollocks bleeped out?
    I'm just a nice Canadian boy from the sub Arctic but I swear hearing a small child say that not too long ago

  10. That was brilliant, I really enjoyed that 👍 Rob is a legend, and his energy is so encouraging. I am gonna look up his series later, sounds really cool 🤙

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