The YT Mob World Tour: Episode #3
Argentina is the next stop on the YT Mob World Tour across six continents. We are here for our second Young Talent Camp searching the next talents in downhill racing and hope to see the future of the sport in this beautiful destination. Hopefully, we will find some diamonds in the rough and we may sign them as some lucky riders to be part of the YT Mob in 2020.
Working with a view
Covering an area of 2.8 million square kilometers, nature reveals itself in all its beauty with one of the largest waterfalls in the world in Iguassu, the colorful rocks of Salta, the Tierra del Fuego and the glaciers in Calafate. From north to south, the Andes weave their way through the landscape like a ribbon, forming a natural border to Chile. Spanish colonists hoped to find silver here and derived the current country name of Argentina from the Latin word for the precious metal (lat.: argentum). Well, there are worse places to work ...
Place to be: Cerro Bayo
Cerro Bayo is located about nine kilometers from the Argentine town of Villa La Angostura and overlooks Lake Nahuel Huapi. At an altitude of 1,783 meters, numerous technical trails wind their way over Cerro Bayo, making it the perfect location for the second Young Talent Camp. There are no World Cups in this region and the chance of being discovered by a talent scout is negligible. This is exactly why we travel to such places during the YT Mob World Tour to spot hidden talents and give them the opportunity to present themselves on a bigger stage.
More than track walks
The aim of the Young Talent Camps is to teach the young participants how they can improve their skills on the racetrack. Angel Suarez takes the kids on a track walk, downhill with them and shows them where valuable seconds remain on the track or how to find the perfect line for their run.
YT Mob team owner Martin Whiteley and World Cup racer Angel Suarez are keen to show the young riders that they are not competing against each other in a Young Talent Camp. The real competition takes place on the race track: The competition against time.
But it’s not only about the time on the stopwatch, it’s about the ability to assess this time and understand where it is coming from.
„At the end of the camp we ask the participants which of their three runs was their fastest, why and by how much. It’s amazing! Some of them are spot on and some, who are really fast, are way off.“
– Martin Whiteley, YT Mob Team Owner
They are the ones we are interested in because they have the speed, but they don’t understand it yet. That's why the Young Talent Camp is so important for the upcoming downhill racers. The camps are about more than improving your technique on the race track and the right line choice. It's about teaching kids what it takes to be a successful pro athlete and to help them understand the sport they love.
„This sport is all mental. When you get to the top of the hill and you ask yourself ‘Have I done everything I possibly can?’ and the answer is ‘Yes!’ then it all comes down to how you mentally attack the track.“
– Martin Whiteley, YT Mob Team Owner
The mental side of racing is essential. Focus and concentration will define how young riders develop their talent and, in the end, how far they go. That’s why – in addition to the Young Talent Camp in Argentina – episode three of the YT Mob World Tour video series takes a deep dive into this topic of becoming a pro athlete. How does "focus" define itself in racing and what influence does it have on personal development and racing results? In the video episode, former Whiteley protégés Brook MacDonald, Neko Mulally and Greg Minnaar give us their insight.
„The thing the kids are going to learn most is that the mental aspect is way more difficult than the physical aspect. Believing in yourself and being able to execute the one chance you have, the mental side of dealing with it, that is the hard part.”“
– Neko Mulally, World Cup Rider
In addition to the skills on a downhill bike, the ability of being focused as a rider will decide over who has the best chances of becoming part of the YT Mob. But before we will know which young talent this will be, we are heading to Fort WIlliam for our third YOung Talent Camp on the YT MOB World Tour. Follow YT on Instagram and Facebook and subscribe (and ring the bell!) to the YT Mob YouTube Kanal, to stay up to date.
The YT Mob Tour video series
The camps are accompanied by production crew Knowmad Development, well known for "Tales of the Mob". The video series will not only tell the tale of what happens at the Young Talent Camps and how mentor and talent developer Martin Whiteley and his team identify talent, but is 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. It's a must-see!
Missed the first two Episodes? There you go:
Photos by Isac Paddock
Video by Knowmad Development