Perfection in curves

: For former downhill pro Boris Tetzlaff, the Wexl Trails are the pure flow experience - whether alone or with the whole family.

He shovelled his first trails on the 675 m high Anninger, in the steep curves of Schladming he was gripped by competition fever as a teenager, and later celebrated countless victories there. Today, European runner-up Boris Tetzlaff loves going to the Wexl Trails with his family.

Dear Boris, why mountain biking actually?

Mountain biking means freedom for me. It may sound striking, but in the rush of speed I can lose myself completely. I block out everything else around me and it's all about the search for the perfect line.

How do you find them?

Cycling looks easy, but in reality it is incredibly complex. If you deviate just one centimetre from the ideal line, it can mean a huge loss of time. It simply takes a lot of sensitivity and experience to read the course correctly and ultimately arrive at the finish line first.

Which you have achieved more than once in your almost 20-year career as a professional.

I'm a multiple time Austrian champion, two-time runner-up in the European junior championships, my best World Cup finish was 16th place. From a sporting point of view, these are all fine achievements. But much more formative are all the days I spent in the saddle with my friends - those memories are priceless. And that's what it's all about for me during my competition time - having a good time together, supporting each other and simply having fun.

You never lost the fun aspect, despite the pressure to perform?

Never! If I’d noticed that cycling would no longer give me pleasure or if I no longer felt that irrepressible bite at the start of a race, I would have retired from competitive life much earlier.

What was the reason for ending your career?

The birth of my daughter Lena! If you want to be at the front of the pack in downhill, you're on the road every week from Wednesday to Sunday and away from your family. I didn't want that, so I retired from competitive sports. And when I go to the Wechsel with my family or friends at the weekend, I almost have more fun on the bike than I used to, where the timekeeping kept track.

What makes the Wexl Trails so special for you?

The entire mountain. No matter if you are a beginner or a pro - you will find the right track there, I promise you! There is no other biking destination in Austria that offers so much variety. The mini bike park for children is unique, the jump line is probably the best I have ever ridden, and I don't even want to talk about the panoramic trails up on the Wexl Trails.

What does your wife say?

She loves the change just as much as I do; there's no jealousy (laughs). We can just have a great time up there as a family: When I watch Lena doing her laps in the mini bike park, I find it incredible. The trails are simply built so safely that I don't have to worry about her or my wife. And when we don't feel like cycling, we go to the playground, balance around in the motor skills park or go for a ride on the summer toboggan run. There was nothing like this in Lower Austria in the past; the nearest bike parks were Semmering or Schladming.

where the routes are rather demanding and technical.

There are also challenging trails at Wechsel, but also easy flow routes that anyone can ride. It’s the overall "Wexl Trails" product that makes the Wechsel unbeatable for the region.

That means your favourite trails can also be found at the Wechsel?

Yes. My favourite thing to do up there myself is the jump or downhill line, both first-class trails and really the very best. But my favourite trails are where it all began for me - on my local mountain, the Anninger. I lost my heart to the Kiental and Hussar Temple trails early on and I remain loyal to them; the Wechsel will understand that.