Red Bull Crashed Ice – The Ice Cross Downhill World Championship promises to be the most exciting ever in its 15th season with its opener in Saint Paul, Minnesota when a flock of American aces and cool Canadians will be looking to dethrone defending champion Marco Dallago of Austria.
(ISN) – SAINT PAUL, Minnesota (USA) – The 2015 Ice Cross Downhill World Championship season will kick off in the high-speed skating sport’s U.S. hotbed on January 24 in front of what promises to be another enormous crowd of enthusiastic Red Bull Crashed Ice fans. Defending champion Marco Dallago of Austria is facing a daunting challenge from a rapidly improving flock of Americans such as local heroes Cameron Naasz and Reed Whiting in the world’s fastest sport on skates where athletes race up to speeds of around 60 km/h (40 mph) down obstacle-filled ice tracks.
Hard-charging Canadians Scott Croxall, second overall in 2014, and 2012 world champion Kyle Croxall along with a fearless pack of fleet-footed rivals from nearly 30 nations will also be going all out down the treacherous ice track in the pursuit of valuable world championship points in the first of four Red Bull Crashed Ice races in the sport’s 15th season. On January 23, the riders will battle shoulder-to-shoulder in the team competition while the women prepare for the first female race in Saint Paul. This will be the fourth straight season that Saint Paul has hosted a Red Bull Crashed Ice stop with enthusiastic crowds of more than 120,000 people have braved freezing temperatures to watch the action.
Last year, Naasz, who finished third in Saint Paul and third overall in the championship, was the only athlete to beat Dallago when he won the race in Moscow. Naasz, who grew up in nearby Lakeville and graduated from St. Cloud State University, became the first American to win a race with his victory in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2013. “I’m more than fired up,” said Naasz. “I hope all my friends and family are ready to make it another epic here in Minnesota.” Whiting, who finished sixth overall last year, is from Rochester, MN and will also be looking for glory on the fast Saint Paul 460-meter (1,500-foot) long track and 40-meter (130-foot) vertical drop set up near the banks of the frosty Mississippi River after getting a career-best fifth place here in 2014.
With a total of eight races in Red Bull Crashed Ice – The Ice Cross Downhill World Championship, the new Riders Cup competition, designed to broaden the base of the sport, will feature four stops held one week before each Red Bull Crashed Ice event. Those participating in the Riders Cup races, which are “organized by riders for riders” will be able to earn up to 25 percent of the points awarded at the four major Red Bull Crashed Ice 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.The growing popularity of the sport of Ice Cross Downhill has been by major improvements in skill and experience among the top racers, who now train all-year round. Huge crowds at races such as Saint Paul have also contributed to the sport’s dynamic growth.
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 Jyväskylä (FIN)
Feb 21 – Red Bull Crashed Ice Belfast (NI)
Mar 07 – Riders Cup Sherbrooke (CAN)
Mar 14 – Red Bull Crashed Ice Edmonton (CAN)