HELSINKI (Finland) – Scott Croxall of Canada won the first Red Bull Crashed Ice race of his career in Helsinki on Saturday, holding off a series of ferocious charges by defending World Champion Marco Dallago of Austria and American Cameron Naasz in a breathtaking final. Kyle Croxall, who finished fourth on the steepest and shortest track of the season, managed to hold onto first place overall in the 2015 Ice Cross Downhill World Championship with 1,737.5 points at the midway point of the eight-race season with Dallago moving to within striking distance in second place with 1,612.5 points. Miikka Jouhkimainen of Finland delighted the home crowd with a strong fifth place.
“I finally got the monkey off my back – this is the best feeling ever,” said Scott Croxall, who had made it to the finals of the world’s fastest sport on skates 14 times in his seven-year career but had never won a race until Saturday night’s race run under bright moonshine and an appreciative Finnish crowd. “I’m overdue. I’m just so happy to be on the number one spot finally.” In a star-studded finale with four of the best Ice Cross Downhill athletes ever assembled, Scott Croxall got off to a flying start and grabbed a small early lead at the first of nine corners. Dallago kept attacking on the right while Naasz was a constant threat, but Croxall displaying remarkable composure for the first time in the finals, would not let either past him. “I felt them on my back the whole time,” said Croxall.
Unseasonably warm temperatures had caused headaches for the organizers, track builders and athletes all weekend but temperatures mercifully dipped below freezing just in time for the finals and the knowledgeable Helsinki crowd was treated to one of the most exciting final battles in years.
The 2015 Ice Cross Downhill World Championship now moves to Jyväskylä, Finland for the third Riders Cup of the season followed by Red Bull Crashed Ice in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 21. The World Championship will move to Canada with the last Riders Cup taking place in Sherbrooke and then crown its World Champion in Edmonton on March 14.
Results: 1. Scott Croxall (CAN), 2. Marco Dallago (AUT), 3. Cameron Naasz (USA), 4. Kyle Croxall (CAN), 5. Miikka Jouhkimainen (FIN), 6. Wisam Gharzoul (SWE), 7. Dean Moriarity (CAN), 8. Adam Horst (CAN), 9. Dylan Moriarity (CAN), Andrey Lavrov (RUS)
World Championship Standing: 1. Kyle Croxall (CAN) 1737.5 points, 2. Marco Dallago (AUT) 1612.5, 3. Dean Moriarity (CAN) 1650, 4. Scott Croxall (CAN) 1515, 5. Cameron Naasz (USA) 1412
Pictures: Sebastian Marko, Andreas Schaad, Samo Vidic, Victor Engström