LAUSANNE (Switzerland) – Sports – Red Bull Crashed Ice – Naasz victory in Lausanne! Cameron Naasz stormed into the overall lead in the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship standings on Saturday with a sensational victory in the fourth stop of the five-race 2012/13 season in Lausanne on Saturday on the most challenging Red Bull Crashed Ice track ever built with local hero Kim Mueller of Switzerland taking second and Canada’s Scott Croxall in third. 40,000 winter sports fans cheered the world’s top 64 Ice Cross Downhill athletes down the high-speed 450-meter track, a test of courage with its 50-meter vertical drop from the start at the 15th century Chateau Saint-Maire castle into the heart of Lausanne.
Red Bull Crashed Ice Thrills 40,000 fans
Naasz, who had finished a close second and then third in the first two races of the year, had a brilliant final run on Saturday down the ice track filled with jumps, bumps and hair-pin turns and the American never let anyone get close to him. The speedy 23-year-old college student from Minnesota mastered the difficult four-meter high up-and-over “Spine” obstacle right after the start and then quickly got away from the pack. Naasz had led the first two races of the season before being passed just before the finish but learned his lessons and never slowed down in Lausanne.
“I worked hard between races to get my stamina up because that’s what was hurting me before and it paid off,” said Naasz, who won 1000 points to move into first place with 2445 points. He now leads Canada’s Kyle Croxall, who got just 110 points with a dreadful 20th place after losing in the round of 32 and is now second. “It’s incredible, I didn’t see that coming at all,” said Naasz when asked about taking a solid 326.4-point lead heading into the final round in Quebec City on March 16. “It’s awesome. There’s no pressure. I’m just going to go up there and do what I can do.”
Switzerland’s Derek Wedge, the pre-race favorite who won the last race in the Netherlands, was eliminated in the quarter-finals after crashing near the start and ended up 9th. Austria’s Marco Dallago, the second-fastest qualifier who breezed through the early rounds, suddenly struggled in the semi-finals and ended up 5th.
On Friday the Canadian-German trio “International Gladiators” won the Team Competition in a spill-filled final against Switzerland’s Swatch ProTeam to move into the overall lead with 2400 points heading into the final in Quebec.
Results: 1. Cameron Naasz (USA), 2. Kim Mueller (SUI), 3. Scott Croxall (CAN), 4. Miikka Jouhkinmainen (FIN), 5. Marco Dallago (AUT), 6. Coleton Haywood (CAN), 7. Pacome Schmitt (FRA), 8. Andreas Ruegge (SUI), 9-Derek Wedge (SUI), 10-Adam Horst (CAN)
World championship standings: 1. Naasz, 2. Kyle Croxall (CAN), 3.Wedge, 4. Dallago, 5. Mueller, 6. Jouhkinmainen, 7. Scott Croxall, 8. Paavo Klintrup (FIN), 9. Kilian Braun (SUI), 10. Jim De Paoli (SUI)