A new Riders Cup competition will double the number of Ice Cross Downhill stops this year from 4 to 8 with athletes able to earn world championship points at the four additional events, which will be held one week before each of the major Red Bull Crashed Ice stops around the world.
(ISN) – SALZBURG (Austria) – The new competition is a reflection of how the top riders have pushed the fastest sport on skates to the next level– some athletes built their own tracks in partnerships with local ski resorts and organizations. The racing on these tracks has attracted a fast-growing number of participants, and the performances have quickly risen to exceptionally high levels. The Riders Cup events are organized “by riders for riders” and have now earned the honor of becoming part of the Red Bull Crashed Ice – Ice Cross Downhill World Championship.
Those participating will be able to earn up to 25 percent of the points awarded at the four major Red Bull Crashed Ice stops. The Riders Cups events will be held, for the most part, in the vicinity of the major stops and they will be designed, built and organized by the host riders themselves on their home courses. Besides a separate Riders Cup ranking, the participants of the new competition can also earn valuable points for the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship with the winner of each Riders Cup race collecting 250 points in the overall World Championship – in other words 25 percent of the 1,000 points awarded to the winners of the major stops. The competitor who skates through the season with the most points will be crowned the Red Bull Crashed Ice 2015 Ice Cross Downhill World Champion.
“We think this is a great idea that will help bring the exciting sport of Ice Cross Downhill to more people around the world,” said Reed Whiting, an American who was 6th overall in the 2014 world championship. “There are so many talented athletes out there who have fallen in love with the Ice Cross Downhill and the Riders Cup will help them get a chance to test, practice and improve their downhill skating skills in a competitive environment.”
Whiting will host the first Riders Cup on January 18 in Afton Alps/Hastings, Minnesota – just outside Saint Paul.
The second Riders Cup will take place in Wagrain-Kleinarl, Austria and will be organized by the reigning 2014 World Champion Marco Dallago. The third Riders Cup race will be run by Finland´s Arttu Pihlainen, the 2011 World Champion in Jyväskyla, Finland. The 4th Riders Cup of the 2015 season will be organized by Red Bull Crashed Ice sportive director Christian Papillon in Sherbrooke, Canada.
The 2015 calendar:
Jan 18 – Riders Cup Afton Alps/Hastings, MN (USA)
Jan 24 – Red Bull Crashed Ice Saint Paul, MN (USA)
Jan 31 – Riders Cup Wagrain-Kleinarl (AUT)
Feb 07 – Red Bull Crashed Ice Helsinki (FIN)
Feb 14 – Riders Cup Jyväskyla (FIN)
Feb 21 – Red Bull Crashed Ice Belfast (NI)
Mar 07 – Riders Cup Sherbrooke (CAN)
Mar 14 – Red Bull Crashed Ice Edmonton (CAN)