Just in time for the start of the cross-country season, the weather brought compliant conditions, only the mud was still missing. The fast circuit at the leisure area in Mödling offered all the intricacies that make the heart of a cross-country rider beat faster. There were lots of short, exhausting climbs, fast meadow passages with a lot of headwind and a running passage in a sandpit. The female bikers, around last seasons third in the world championships – Nadja Heigl – were sent to the circuit at the same time as the men. 60 minutes all-out was the name of the game.

I got off to a very good start. I found a good rythm, although the men were determined to hold their ground. My CHASE MUD wheels had an excellent grip, even if they longed for a little mud, ;) For a long time I was ranked third before I ran out of power and was passed onto the fourth place. The short, crisp climbs were really hard for me and so I reached the finish line completely exhausted but happy to be the fourth place.

Thank you to the whole CHASE Team for the great first edition of the CHASE CROSS. It was truly a success!

Last weekend the second run of the austrian cross-country cup took place in Stadl-Paura (Upper Austria). Chase-biker Manfred from the Picher Racing Team was highly motivated to achieve another podium place after his second place in Maria Enzersdorf.

He took the lead right at the start and led the 60 other athletes through the first lap. After that the race was for a long time characterized by tactical gimmicks of the top drivers. The lead changed several times per lap and a lot of athletes fought for their victory and the podium places for a long time. For the spectators it was an extremely exciting race to watch. Two laps before the end there were still 5 drivers at the lead together. But then Manfred started his attack – at a short ascent he went to the first position and sprinted up the hill. Immediately he could open a gap to the other pursuers and from then on there was only “full throttle”. In sovereign manner he could finish the race as the lead.

Next sunday at the thrid cupstation in Langenzersdorf there will already be the next fight for victory of the local cross-country-elite.

On the 14th of October a race for the ÖRV-ZMS-cross-country cup 2018/19 took place in Langenzersdorf on the terrain of the Seeschlacht.After his victory in Stadl-Paura the week before, chase-teamrider Manfred entered the competition as one of the favourites. After a thrilling start phase, a 4-men leading group was soon able to distinguish itself from the rest of the drivers. The group consisted of two hungarian and two austrian bikers, one of them was Manfred!

Again and again the lead changed, but for a long time no driver was able to take a decisive lead. It was not until the second to last lap that an attack was successful – Manfred was able to break away from his remaining rivals by increasing his pace and won for the second time in the cross-country cup season of 2018/19!

Pics (c) by Ernst Teubenbacher

On December 8th and 9th the ARBÖ RC Pernitz organised two races within the ÖRV-ZMS-cross-country-cup 2018/19.

On saturday chase-teamrider Manfred proved that he is one of the best local crossers this season.
From the beginning he was at the top together with street professional Andi Hofer, from the half of the race on he took the lead alone and didn’t let it be taken anymore. He celebrated his 7th victory in the current cross-country season. Felix Ritzinger won the 4th place in his first race of the season.

During the night it rained heavily and so the track turned into an extremely demanding circuit for the second race on sunday. Soon after the start a leading group consisting of Manfred Zöger, Robert Gehbauer, Felix Ritzinger and Philipp Heigl formed. The lead changed several times and the race remained extremely exciting until the very end. Philipp Heigl won the race, but Felix Ritzinger and Manfred Zöger were very close behind, Robert Gehbauer got the 4th place. Chase’s technical director Felix Schneider also took part in the race and occupied the remarkable 21st place in the national starting field.

Pics (c) by Ernst Teubenbacher

Ternitz in the Neunkirchen district was the venue for two exciting racing days in the cross-country sport on the 20th and 21st October of 2018.

Chase-driver Manfred once again showed his current top form. At the race on Saturday, he got his third victory in a row after a thrilling fight. Two laps to go, he already had a small advantage over his pursuers, but then he had a self-inflicted slip-up in a corner.

Although he was back on the bike quickly, his advantage was ruined. Thus, the race was completely open again and there was a three-men leading group in the last round. But Manfred once again proved to be the currently strongest driver in austria. With an attack he managed to shake off his rivals and successfully drove through the finish line as winner!

At the international C2 race on sunday he unfortunately had bad luck right at the beginning. At the start, a competitor got into his front wheel which caused one of the spokes to break. Manfred was one of the last to get back on track. Although he managed a good catch-up he was nowhere near the top places that day. The winner was the belgian Braam Merlier, after him came the czech Paprstka and another belgian. Manfred got the 17th place in the international field as the second-best austrian.

Pics (c) by Ernst Teubenbacher

On the 26th and 27th October of 2018 two races of the ÖRV-ZMS-Cross-Country-Cup took place in Trieben, Styria. On the national holiday, the first day of the race, the weather was beautiful and the temperatures were pleasant.
On the flat circuit a fast race developed and for a long time there was a large leading group at the top. Due to the rather easy circuit no driver could get the lead alone.

In the second to last round Chase-teammember Manfred attacked and was able to split the six-men leading group decisively. Only the carinthian Robert Gehbauer managed to follow Manfred for a long time. During another try in the last round he could not keep up and Manfred drove to his fourth win in the current cross-country season.

Overnight, a change in the weather created completely new conditions for the second day of the race. The course turned into a slide due to the rain and cool temperatures of only 5°C combined with heavy rainfall caused very difficult conditions. Manfred sadly did not get to “operating temperature” that day.

For a long time he drove in a larger group but in the end he had the least reserves left and had to settle for 6th place. Given his great achievements in the past weeks this place almost seems a bit disappointing. But for Manfred it was always clear that his winning streak cannot last forever, since the other athletes are also in very good shape. Even the 6th place is still a considerable achievement in the quite large national driver field.