The YT Mob World Tour: Episode #2
Tour Stop # 1 of the YT Mob World Tour took us straight to a mountain bike mecca: New Zealand. In addition to a landscape that mountain bikers can only dream of and being hosted by a former World Cup Racer, this unforgettable experience was mainly due to the 20 incredibly participants we got to see here. Some of them seamed to be obsessed with downhill racing... Why this is actually a good thing? Read on!
In the land of the Kiwis
New Zealand is considered as a must-ride destination amongst mountain bikers. Needless to say that we would stop in the land of the Kiwis in search of the next Young Talent in downhill racing. We started our tour around the world in March 2019 on the southern island of New Zealand. In the northeast, located 15 minutes from Blenheim, there is a 100-acre property called Jentree. In its heyday, Jentree was a venue for multiple national and regional races and had an extensive network of mountain bike tracks. To make it short: the perfect location for our first Young Talent Camp.
Hosted by a downhill champ
We were very happy to have Justin Leov, former Downhill World Cup Racer and EWS rider, and his wife Victoria as our hosts. After Justin's planned retirement from racing circuit in 2017, they purchased Jentree and then started to rebuild existing trails as well as developing new ones. Now working as a mountain bike guide and coach, Justin knows the trails here like no other – something, our 20 participants would benefit from during three days of spending with the YT Mob. So at the trackwalks, YT Mob rider Angel Suarez and Justin shared helpful tips on track conditions and the right line choice. As a former World Cup Racer and New Zealand champ, Justin was able to give even more helpful advice on how to become a professional downhill racer.
Who will make it to the next level?
The participants from all over Oceania had three days to absorb the advice of the pros and then prove that they can translate their gained knowledge into action. Because at the end of the day, that’s what the YT Mob World Tour is all about: Who is capable of constant learning, personal improvement and who can take their skills to the next level?
Mindset of a Pro
The next generation of downhill racers need to bring the perfect mix of talent and work ethics. As a former World Cup rider and New Zealand downhill champion, Justin Leov knows what young talents need to become a successful full-time athlete:
„There is a point, where you have to start thinking ‘Ok, this is what I have to do’, if you are going to follow the career of a pro racer. As soon as we started talking timed runs, the personalities started to come through. You start to be able to identify the kids that have the right work ethics and are focused. No matter if it is windy or it is raining, they realize this is something they need to do.“
– Justin Leov, Former World Cup Rider
You have to be obsessed. Obsessed with the sport, obsessed with your life goal in mind and obsessed with improving your skills. You need the strong will to do anything that’s necessary to reach the next level. You have to be the very best you can be, every day. These are exactly the skills and the mind set we are looking for among the participants of our Young Talent Camps.
„Everyone enjoys riding their bike, but it’s about the whole process of trying to become the absolute best that you can be.“
– Justin Leov
Find your balance
Sounds easy, but finding the right balance is quite tricky. And it’s crucial, as obsession lifts you up, but being bitter keeps you low. Only those who manage to find the perfect balance for themselves can fully unleash their potential and stand out among others. That’s why it is our job to give all Young Talents out there the opportunity to discover their obsession, to support them with it and to stand by their side all the way through.
The search continues
We have seen many incredibly talented riders in New Zealand and are stoked to see how much undiscovered potential is out there. But how good are they indeed? We can’t really tell until all six camps on the YT Mob World Tour are in the books. Maybe we will see even more potential at the second Young Talent Camp in Argentina. Stay tuned to find out and follow our social media channels on Instagram and Facebook or subscribe to the YT Mob YouTube channel to stay up to date!
The YT Mob Tour video series
The camps are accompanied by production crew Knowmad Development (“Tales of the Mob”) to create a video series that will not only tell the tale of what happens at the camps and how mentor and talent developer Martin Whiteley and his team identify talent, but are also enriched by insight from Whiteley’s former protégés such as Brook MacDonald, Neko Mulally and Greg Minnaar, who all can look back on a similar process of being discovered, refining their raw talent and making it to the World Cup Elite.
Missed Episode #1? Watch here
Photos by Isac Paddock
Video by Knowmad Development
Book Justin, if you want to shred some trails in Jentree: https://jentreemtb.com/