Podcast: Finding the World's Top Talent, Handling Negative Feedback & More with Martin Whitely

May 13, 2019
by Beyond The Tape  

In Episode 5 I was lucky enough to sit down with an inspiration of mine, Martin Whitely.

We chat about how he started the Mountain Bike race scene in Australia, his journey from AMBA to the UCI, and the future of the YT Mob. He hands out some really great advice on how he manages to handle any negative feed back and what it is really like to find some of the world's top talent. I am super exited to release this episode and I hope you all enjoy it

Don't forget to head to craftworks.com and use btt10 to get 10% off they are a massive part of keeping this thing running. 

Huge thanks to Jordo from FSR Productions for producing. Jump over to Spotify, I Tunes, or wherever you get your podcasts podcasted and have a listen. 


  • 24 4
 One of the most important people in World Cup downhill racing history??? Oh really - come on guys , get serious
  • 4 3
 how many top racers over the years has he played a part in there success?
  • 20 2
 He'll need that experience handling negative feedback to Wade through the comments. If there's one person who didn't need to be highlighted through hagiography, it's Whitely.
  • 15 0
 Handling negative feed back, the two stage process

1) Dont scroll into the PB comments section
2) Use time you would normally set aside to deal with keyboard rage to take a nice walk in countryside instead,
  • 12 2
 Has Martin done some good for mountain biking at a level that benefits real mountain bikers???
Or perhaps he's the mountain bike equivalent of a career politician?
  • 7 1
 @spsyndicate having just listened to the podcast and some interviews in the past, I'd say yeah, he has.

I guess I'm not informed well enough, why is the general negativity towards him?
Because of dropping Gwin unexpectedly? I thought they both made it clear it was not his decision.
  • 9 4
 he has done a lot for the sport based on what ive seen. a hell of a alot
  • 12 8
 Just another middle man sucking money from other people's hard work.
  • 6 2
 @Milko3D: I don't have anything against the guy, but from memory:
1) The not-very professional public response to Gwin not renewing with him and Trek. It was a weird situation, apparently you can sign a contract that says you will sign the real contract later, and break that original contract. Everyone came out looking bad.
2) He made some trackside comments made about some less consistent riders getting great results in a possibly rain affected WC (don't remember which). I think he might have been right, but phrased things poorly.
  • 2 1
 @sq225917: i dont think thats fair - hes not really a middle man is he? Who at the top? and whos at the bottom?
  • 7 2
 Having met him a couple of times I don't think he's done anything good for the average mountain biker, but he's fostered a hell of a lot of talented ones to achieve great things. He's a unique individual for sure, very focused, driven, and at times blunt (which often comes across poorly) but he's definitely worthy of respect for his place in the mountain bike world.
  • 5 1
 He just comes across as a bit of a cunt. The career politician comment was a good one. Who knows, he might be a really nice guy in real life, but I doubt it. He's very successful, and really successful people aren't usually that nice.
  • 9 0
 I got to know Martin over a two year period as a WC Team manager. It seemed like the Honda Team was always right next to us - which was awesome for making our crap, under budget team look even more crap and under budget. I will be honest I found him to be a bit of a prick. He ‘ran’ the team association like his own little play thing and and made it pretty clear to a lot of us that we were not part of the ‘club’. I temper this with the fact that maybe we were all a bit jealous of him. Yes he has a big head about things, but he has earned it. As long as riders and sponsors know what motivates him then it is fine.
  • 1 0
 Reminds me of the saying (paraphrasing) “ it’s a window into the person on how your date treats your waiter/waitress when you’re not looking” .
  • 11 3
 I tried a podcast. Took one of the laundry pods put it on the end of the fishing pole and cast it as far as I could. Now the neighbors are saying negative things about me. So glad this video has taught me how to deal with them. No more podcast for me.
  • 1 0
 You are doing it all wrong. You take multiple pods, link them together with the threads of hopes and dreams to make a net. You cast out the net of pods and it will increase your yeild of sarcasm and anger(a.k.a. the comments section). BTT
  • 8 0
 Got through about half of it and it was educational. I dealt with Martin a few times when I hired Greg Minnaar as a guest coach in my downhill camps and always wondered what his background in the sport was.

Had to stop listening as that buzz in the background was annoying. Was a drone flying overhead during the interview?

Also seems like a conflict of interest to work for the UCI and manage athletes and teams at the same time.
  • 1 0
 Hey mate, that buzz is thanks to a terrible internet connection on both sides of the interview. We tried our vest to remove it however it made us sound like robots. It has been a steep learning curve for us here and we are really appreciative of your feed back. Thanks, btt
  • 1 0
 @Beyond-The-Tape: cool, I know how frustrating that can be. Have you tried WhatsApp? US to South Africa sounds sharp, video calls too!
  • 1 0
 @BetterRide: i am looking into whats app and other options now.
  • 1 0
 @Beyond-The-Tape: That sounds like a laptop fan getting picked up by your mic.
  • 5 0
 As an outsider to the inner working of this sport, Martin does seemingly have a less than saintly reputation in regards to team shenanigans. I have no idea if it is warranted, but unfortunately it does seem to have tarnished his public persona somewhat. He maybe needs to work on his PR a little more in future.
  • 1 0
 I've listened to both this one and the one on vital my podcast and the vital mtb one is definitely more informative then this one if you want to know more about martin and what his done for the sport. One thing I can't work out is tho.. is martin born in Aus?
  • 1 0
 Yeah, he's an Aussie.
  • 1 2
 MW Australian born started as a supermarket manager, & JJ radio DJ. Then quickly rose though the ranks in Cycling Australia, formed AMBA, the first MTB National team 1989, joined/headed the MTB division of UCI & pushed XC into the Olympics.
If Australia as a nation was more like Europe in taking MTB & cycling seriously instead of ball sports & swimming with junior & talented athlete development MW would be even more successful.
MW definitely aspires to be the Bernie Ecclestone of MTB perhaps this RedBull era could lift the sport higher the coverage has never been better.
MTB has come a long way since 89
  • 1 0
 Nice interview. I still have an old AMBA sticker: TREAD LIGHTLY ON PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LAND.
  • 5 5
 Perhaps you all should listen to the podcast first...
  • 1 0
  • 2 0
 Haha. Spot on.
  • 1 0
 Sweet podcast guys
  • 1 0
 Thanks legend, BTT
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