JYVASKYLA, Finland – Spectacular jumps and wild crashes, constant passing and the surprising early exits of the sport’s biggest stars capped by a riveting final pitting old rivals against each other — with the outcome of a new winner at the second Red Bull Crashed Ice race of the season in Finland. Luca Dallago of Austria won his first Red Bull Crashed Ice race of his career on Saturday in frozen Finland under sunny blue skies in the season’s first daytime race with a controlled run down a treacherous natural ice track, emerging on top from an aggressive battle of brothers in a thrilling final. Canada’s Scott Croxall took second place after his older brother Kyle, as well as Luca’s older brother Marco Dallago, were disqualified for contact earlier in the race. Kyle Croxall had crossed the finish line first but was later dropped down to third due to the DQ, while Marco Dallago took fourth.
Marco Dallago, who won the season opener in Saint Paul, Minnesota two weeks ago, moved into the overall lead with 1,790 points, with Scott Croxall moving into second overall (1,400) and Luca Dallago jumping into third place (1,019 points).
American Amanda Trunzo won the women’s race down the grueling 630-meter track in Finland ahead of Myriam Trepanier of Canada in second, Tamara Kajah (CAN) in third and Finland’s Miisa Klemola taking fourth. It was Trunzo’s second straight victory and put her comfortably in the overall championship lead ahead of the third stop of the season in two weeks in Marseille, France.
The Junior competition was won for the fifth time in a row by local hero Mirko Lahti of Finland, followed by fellow compatriot Jesse Sauren and Luka sz Korzestanski of Poland, who grabbed third place.
In a riveting race on a bitterly cold afternoon in Finland, Scott Croxall got the best start in the final and had the early lead but crashed into the first corner after tangling hard with Marco Dallago, whose lead was then short-lived as Kyle Croxall appeared to pull him down with strategic tugs a few turns later. Kyle Croxall then never let go of the lead with Luca Dallago – the only racer who made it down the course flawlessly and unscathed — finishing a close second. Moments later, however, the judges disqualified both Kyle Croxall for a “face grab” against Marco Dallago, who himself was disqualified for the “body check” against Scott shortly after the start.
“I just tried to do a good race and stay with it all the way to the finish,” said Luca Dallago, who was surprised by the turn of events that gave him the win. He said he didn’t let some ugly battles in the past with the Croxall brothers from last year’s semi-finals in Saint Paul distract him even though the final bristled with tension in the first such brother-vs-brother matchup in a final. “I tried to set all that aside before the race. I just raced as hard as I could. It’s kind of crazy.”
It was indeed a crazy race in Jyvaskyla once again as the only Red Bull Crashed Ice natural ice track with all its imperfections and ruts caused numerous upsets all day long. Two-time defending champion Cameron Naasz (USA) was surprisingly knocked out in the quarter-final round, tripping on a rut while comfortably in the lead and under no pressure at all halfway down the track.
Trunzo widened her lead atop the Ice Cross Downhill Championship after dominating all her heats and the final in Finland. She was in a league of her own. Trepanier is second overall and defending champion Jacqueline Legere is third.
Results men: 1. Luca Dallago (AUT), 2. Scott Croxall (CAN), 3. Kyle Croxall (CAN), 4. Marco D Dallago (AUT), 5. Mirko Lahti (FIN), 6. Tommy Mertz (USA), 7. Matt Johnson (USA), 8. Denis Novozhilov (RUS), 9. Jim DePaoli (SUI), 10. Gabriel Renaud (FRA)
Women: 1. Amanda Truno (USA), 2. Myriam Trepanier (CAN), 3. Tamara Kajah (CAN), 4. Miisa Klemola (FIN), 5. Anais Morand (SUI), 6 Maxie Plante (CAN) 7. Sandrine Rangeon (FRA), 8. Veronika Windisch (AUT)
Pictures: Sebastian Marko, Andreas Schaad, Viktor Engstroem, Daniel Grund, Mark Roe