Video: Rob Warner Tries to Return to World Cups in "The Way Back"

Jan 28, 2024 at 10:36
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesIn September 2022 Rob Warner signed off on the Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup. It had been his life for nearly 3 decades.

After a turbulent racing career he transitioned into being the sports commentator.

Raw and unsolicited it was the beginning of a new era of broadcasting. Through his unmatchable knowledge, enthusiasm and love of downhill he became the voice of mountain biking.

Fourteen blissful years followed, the sport growing almost as quickly as Warner’s ego before at the end of 2022 the unthinkable happened.

Robert Warner was no longer ‘The Voice’.

To say he took it badly is an understatement. He no longer knew who he was, or why he even existed. There was only one way through it. To go to rock bottom and start again.

In this candid documentary Canadian film-maker Nick Van Berkel has access all areas documenting Rob as he’s never been seen before. From his most vulnerable to the start of him fighting back, this is a film sure to leave a tear in your eye.

Can he find

’The Way Back?’

Thankyou to Giant Bicycles for letting me make this film and to the awesome Nick Van Berkel for bringing an idea to life
Rob Warner

Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,052 articles

  • 442 2
 Gathered some of Rob's most iconic phrases through the years, some would get you in trouble nowdays but those were the days, Freecaster and beers for the win.

Look at the time!!
How Danny Hart can sit with balls that big.
Look at that whip!
Come on Peaty! Get on those f*cking pedals!!!
"Thank God I have a suspension chair" (on Steve Peat's run at the 2009 world champs).
Steve Peat has done more for downhill mountain biking than Osama Bin Laden has done for terrorism.
He hit the deck harder than an old lady on a cruise ship.
He's is on a rampage like a dog with two dicks.
He's as loose as a clown running through a minefield.
He looks like he's shit a lego deathstar.
He's angrier than a man with a fork in a world of sup.
He's all over the place like a monkey dry-humping a football.
He's off like a Jewish foreskin.
He's off like a Russian boder.
He's gone down harder then the US economy.
He's going to wake up feeling like his neck took a Viagra.
He's letting it all hang out like a fat bird in a bikini.
He's gone down like a pair of cheap tights!
He wants this more than an out of work rapist.
His ass has opened up wider than a hippos yawn!
He has gone down faster than one of those french breast implants!!
That's as popular as a ginger-haired step-child.
That would have opened up his arsehole like a vintage golf bag.
Thats uglier than ET with skin cancer.
This man's got less brain than a service station pasty.
This is more packed than a Chinese cemetery.
Although the king of pop might be dead, we still have a thriller for you. So don't sit at home and beat it.
I'm sweating like a whore in church.
If he pull this off there will be an uprising worthy of a middle eastern country!

Sam Hill: The Winged Assassin/Thunder from Down Under
Gee Atherton: The Vulcan Bomber
Ben Cathro: The World's Tallest Man
  • 20 0
 Thanks for the share! What a list!
  • 29 0
 Anyone remember the Freecaster/Rob Warner soundboard app from back in the day?
  • 11 0
 I haven’t laughed like that in a while
  • 19 0
 This is as close as you can get to public execution.....this side from Saudi Arabia
  • 9 0
 “He’s gonna do it, he is gonna do it. By the Ark of Noah, here he comes down to the line. He’s gonna smash it!”

“Look how effortless and smoothie is. This man is smoother and faster than the Bonneville salt flats.”

“Look how smooth he is. If he was any smoother, he would have to be liquidized.”
  • 6 0
 What about ‘more dangerous than a Spanish cucumber’…..
  • 4 0
 @notthatfast: I legitimately miss that app!
  • 3 0
 Thanks mate.
  • 4 0
 @notthatfast: I've still got it on my old iPod Touch......
  • 2 0
 Good effort dude
  • 22 2
 There is zero doubt in my mind that had Rob stayed on World Cup races in 2023, its popularity would have surged instead of shrunken. I thought the decision to stay with Red Bull was strictly his decision but UCI/discovery may have thought his style
was too raw or bro for their "professional" style (whichis hilarious to even type out given what a train wreck commentary was last year until Gwin and some other pros showed up to pull the pants up).

But Warners absence, along with addition of Semis, made 2023 a pretty sad year for DH. Sure, there were some exciting wins & some really good things to happen like Goldstone winning twice and Benoit taking the Worlds but unless they bring Rob on or improve the coverage somehow, I have little interest in subscribing to watch and listening to Cedric carry on like a 15 year old.
  • 5 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Benoit did not win worlds, he won Les Gets
  • 10 0
 I’m a little disappointed you left out “that was uglier than a bag of smashed up a*sholes”

In response to Aaron Gwin’s 2011 World Champs crash when he was actually up on Danny’s time.
  • 3 0
 He is more dangerous than an Spanish cucumber (for those remembering EHEC)
  • 2 0
 @Henryd555: Yep, my bad...totally mixed that up.
  • 5 15
flag Fill-Freakin FL (Jan 29, 2024 at 11:17) (Below Threshold)
 OK, now that you mention these zingers, I can see why he wasn't asked to commentate if their goal was to bring the events to a wider audience. Any reasonable broadcaster wouldn't want to field the number of calls or emails generated by all the people that would get the panties in a knot over some comment or another.
  • 6 0
 "He needs this more than Pavarotti needs a salad!"
  • 5 0
 "Drink a pint of concrete and harden the "F" up!!"
  • 3 0
 That was crackers
  • 5 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: I bet it was more along the corporate bullshit line of Discovery wanting to "define their own identity" separate from Red Bull.
  • 7 1
 @MustRideAllTheTrails: He stuck to his guns w/ his comment that it was Redbull that helped make him who he is & he was staying in but maybe that was diplomacy(?) RB is great and Im sure Rob is taken care of... but it does make sense that Disc/UCI would've suggested a break. Not sure we'll know for sure (or do we?) Just seems like the sure-fire way to piss off 50-75% of DH fans on earth.

Of the 12-15 guys I know who were DH freaks for years. none sub'd to GCN last year to watch. I did for about 4 weeks and it was such shite that I cancelled & watched highlights instead. I even offered my user/pass to most buds - they didn't even take me up on it. I don't blame them. I am sure coverage improved (esp w/ Gwin) but Id wager Discovery lost 50% or more of the DH fanbase last year. Rob IS downhill commentary. His loss is stark.
  • 2 0
 @jf76: I remember that this was about Sam Hill! Was it in Schladming?
  • 6 0
 Some more from my list:
- It's rumored that when Greg Minnaar gets on the pedals he can stop the Earth's rotation because he has so much power
- Danny Hart has testicles the size of weather balloons
- It's wetter out than a dolphin with a bladder infection
  • 2 0
 He’s smoother than the queens c*nt
  • 1 0
 Julien Camellini: The Camel Toe
  • 2 0
 correction on sam hills name its the Flat pedal Thunder from Down Under
  • 5 0
 @nastynate711: Me and my mate met Rob at Fort William not for the first time, but this year i think it was 2016/2017 he was making his way slowly down the side of the track on a Santa Cruz something because although it was great weather, the shaded parts were still slick and/or muddy and so the bike slid and down he went into the shaded muddy part he was navigating!
So my buddy and I start crossing the track to help him up/make sure he was fine and Rob being Rob the cursing was well on it's way and he wasn't happy as it was a stupid fall so pulling up his bike i said to him "Rob, that was uglier than a bag full of Arseholes. Are you okay?".
The angry Rob just exploded into laughter and cleaned himself off still laughing and said "Good memory, that was a fair few years back". And i said it was Brendan Fairclough crashing in some mud filled forest section someplace but i could be wrong. Rob said nothing as we gave him a bottle of water, mars bar and a huge handful of blue clean-up roll. We spoke for a few minutes, he thanked us for the help, the laugh and the pit stop then he said he'd better go or Peaty would think he'd stole his pit bike.

I don't watch live DH Racing now and Rob not commentating is a big part of it.
I knew Downhill was turning into something i wasn't liking when there was a few Mercedes-Benz PICK-UP Trucks peppered around Fort William including one at the Road Gap. Who the F*** is filling the back of that painted flatbed with anything except water while washing? That was the start of the Dumbass SUV craze and the ending of my watching DH Live.
  • 1 0
 You forgot “Wetter than a dolphin with a ladder infection!”
  • 76 2
 He hit the deck harder than an old grannie on a cruise ship
  • 65 0
 Rob Warner will always be the voice of mountain biking.

On a side note, discovery/uci if you’re watching this get people like Aaron Gwin again back in the commentary booth; or someone of the similar ilk.

That’s the only thing that’s made it watchable.
  • 5 43
flag dkendy1 FL (Jan 28, 2024 at 14:02) (Below Threshold)
 Cedric is of similar Ilk no? Just stirring
  • 4 4
 Agreed on Rob Warner. With the current commentators, honestly, who cares. Focus on the race and the split times, and soon the commentary will be not that important.
  • 33 0
 The only guy to win a wc with an STI
  • 15 0
 As far as we know
  • 29 1
 Redbull, for Hard-line, you need to let Rob loose! Just let him free to call it how we all want it. One liners, language (a little) and Rob to be Rob.
That last jump had me in tears too, wasn't expecting that.
Can't wait for Tassie!
  • 30 0
 The Ride Companion Podcast that Warner was recently on is an eye opening look at a man baring his soul.
  • 24 0
 Rob in. Semifinals out.
  • 23 4
 I’d pay $250 for a personal happy birthday recording from Mr Warner, but you gotta ask me how I sit down with balls that big
  • 5 17
flag bushbush (Jan 28, 2024 at 11:13) (Below Threshold)
  • 16 0
 @bushbush: Please don't
  • 14 0
 "He's all over the place! Like a MONKEY DRY HUMPING A FOOTBALL!"
  • 13 0
 The man The legend The voice
  • 12 0
 Thanks Rob, we’re all homesick moles.
  • 5 2
 Great to see Rob back on the muscle bike.
  • 10 1
 I'd listen to him read the phone book. (for everyone less than 30 years old, a phone book is a thing with names and phone numbers in it). Also, he makes Giant bikes cool.
  • 9 0
 Rob taking a WC run would be the best junk punch ever to Discovery. I’d pay to see that!!!
  • 9 0
 Just when we 50+ guys thought it was all over! Cheers Rob ;-)
  • 5 0
 If Discovery don't sort this out soon its just money they could be making getting flushed down the toilet.
  • 2 0
 Looks to me like Rob might be coming back with the giant as some sort of ambassador/ media / mentor, who’s knows maybe they’ll make their own videos of the races moi moi style which has become better than the real coverage
  • 3 0
 I love the subtle nod to mushrooms. They were actually first brought to the US from Mexico by Gordon Wasson, courtesy of Maria Sabina.
  • 4 1
 What are you talking about? Mushrooms grow everywhere.
  • 1 0
 Rob you are a man among men. Your podcast and the guts that took knowing full well that you would likely break up at any time and then to share deeply personal things about a diagnosis? You are a freaking champion mate. I welled up more than once because just like your commentating, you made me FEEL it. And that is the component of greatness in calling a sport. I hope you read this and I really give zero #@&$ about any up or down votes, ever really, but surely not with this one. Of course you are missed on the WC. And this is just an honest man’s opinion that has been going to and watching WC since the early Grundig days.. YOU are the voice in my (most likely most of ours) head to WC mountain biking like Phill Liggett is to grand tour road racing. Mic drop and thanks brother for just always being a great guy. You deserve every smile you have coming. Thank you Red Bull and Giant bicycles!
  • 1 0
 Can someone tell me where in Mexico this trail system is? I’ve got family down there and I may two birds with one stone my next trip down there. AND if anyone wants to be my guide I’d be super stoked for it
  • 5 0
 Cardosanto Bike Ranch, look them up in instagram, 30 min drive from Mexico City. Also look up @yorchdeavila he offers one on one / group sessions there
  • 3 0
 I was really hoping the video would end with an anouncement that he would be back commentating for Discovery this season.
  • 16 0
 No, he would be unwise to hitch his post that sinking ship.
  • 1 1
 Isn't that what this was about? The whole video was about him coming back to WCs but he's not a racer anymore?
  • 3 1
 @MrRight: I thought one of the big reasons why people weren’t happy with Discovery was because of the commentary. I would think hiring Rob would be a step in the right direction to improving things for 2024.
  • 2 0
 @stubs179: Rob stated on the Ride podcast that he was devastated when he learned he wouldn’t be commentating on the Word Cup for 2024. It didn’t sound like he was even offered the job with Discovery for 2023, I assume he would jump at the opportunity to commentate in 2024 if Discovery offered it to him. This did not sound like an official announcement of his return.
  • 4 0
 He goes down like a homesick mole Smile
  • 1 0
 Is this a video saying he's coming back to WCs as an announcer? I feel like thats what this video was about? No? I wasn't going to pay for them this year, but if he's back i will pay.
  • 2 1
 No it's not. I'm not sure what this video is about to be honest. He's doing all the RB stuff like Hardline, Cerro Abajo urban races, Crankworx...
  • 1 1
 His appearance on TRC podcast was so honest, sincere, and eye-opening. It had me eagerly anticipating this video, hoping for an equally genuine take on Rob's experience over the last few years. I'm a long time doting fan of Rob, but this spoof is absolutely horrible.
  • 3 0
 8:38 the ultimate dead sailor
  • 4 0
 Shut the front door!
  • 4 0
 Love it ! Funny as
  • 3 0
 Excellent video.. thanks Rob and Giant!
  • 3 0
 Hey Discovery, I will not be watching until Rob is back. Just saying
  • 3 1
 "I'm shaking like a.shitting dog"
  • 2 1
 I think ROBS massive BALLS took the brunt of that impact. He might not be able to sit down for a while.
  • 2 0
 this rules. Love the dude!
  • 2 0
 When he says Holy Toledo, is he thinking of the Toledo in Spain or Ohio?
  • 2 1
  • 9 0
 Bro, Ohio doesn’t exist
  • 2 0
 Who's Ohio?
  • 2 0
 @GravityCandy: It's 2 Os with a Hi in the middle. DEVO is from Akron, so...
  • 1 0
 He’s talking about a dusty old triumph
  • 2 0
 Wow... Rob commentating Rob was legendary....
  • 1 0
 It’s not a MTB race without Warner!! His voice should be yelling GO for the start of every bike race/run in the World!
  • 2 0
 Let rob get pissed in the booth red bull......
  • 2 0
 Rob's definitely a piss taker but he can ride.
  • 2 0
 Danny Hart in Champery remix
  • 1 0
 Why not share the original?
  • 2 0
 So was the crash real and Rob got properly hurt?
  • 1 1
  • 5 1
 Looked pretty real to me
  • 1 0
 I cant understand why he doesnt have a commentary job. Like all great personalities he probably offended someone.
  • 2 0
 He does have a commentary job though, just not with Discovery.
  • 2 0
  • 2 0
 Love that guy!
  • 1 0
 Good start to the week with this vid... LOL!
  • 1 0
 Cant wait for the next one!
  • 1 0
 He should take some Peyote , I bet that shaman had some.
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 8:35 killed me lol
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