Incredible high-speed passing maneuvers, bone-jarring crashes, heart-stopping action and clutch performances made the Red Bull Crashed Ice race in Marseille one of the most exciting ever. American Cameron Naasz kept his hopes for a third straight ATSX Ice Cross Downhill World Championship alive with a dramatic win as did Canada’s Jacqueline Legere in the women’s competition.
MARSEILLE, France – Naasz blasted out of the starting blocks in a pressure-packed Red Bull Crashed Ice final on a treacherous ice track in Marseille on Saturday and never looked back, winning with the most brilliant performance of his career. The victory for Naasz, who beat Canada’s Scott Croxall into second place, kept his hopes for a third straight Ice Cross Downhill World Championship alive. Croxall moved just ahead of Austria’s Marco Dallago into first place in the standings with Naasz a close third overall with three races left.
Desperately needing a win after two costly mistakes in the first two Red Bull Crashed Ice races dimmed his chances of a three-peat, Naasz turned on the afterburners in all four elimination rounds and somehow found even more speed and power in the star-studded final – a confident, high-speed run down the difficult, rain-slickened 340-meter long track near Marseille’s old harbor on the rim of the Mediterranean Sea. The 61-degree BF Goodridge Harbor Drop was the steepest slope ever in an Ice Cross Downhill race. Maxwell Dunne (USA) took third place while Luca Dallago (AUT) was fourth and his brother Marco Dallago took fifth place. Four athletes at a time race at speeds of up to 80 km/h down the obstacle-filled tracks with the fastest two advancing to the next round.
“It was a really tough track and everyone’s getting so good so I just tried to stay on my feet and carry speed through the difficult features,” said Naasz. “I’ve had some rough races behind me but I stayed on my feet this time so it’s nice. It’s huge to put myself back into the running. I hope I can carry some of this momentum into the races coming up.”
Croxall now leads the world championship with 2,400 points while Marco Dallago falls to second on 2,305 points and Naasz is third with 2,100 points. There are 1,000 points up for grabs in the final Red Bull Crashed Ice race in Edmonton, Canada. The riders will also be chasing championship points at two Riders Cup races in North America with 250 points awarded to the winner.
In the women’s championship, Jacqueline Legere (CAN) kept her hopes alive of winning three straight titles with a win over Amanda Trunzo (USA). Anais Morand (SUI) got third place. Trunzo won the first two Red Bull Crashed Ice races and could have clinched the title but Legere rose to the challenge.
Results Marseille Men: 1. Cameron Naasz (USA), 2. Scott Croxall (CAN), 3. Maxwell Dunne (USA), 4. Luca Dallago (AUT), 5. Marco Dallago (AUT), 6. Mirko Lahti (FIN), 7. Kyle Croxall (CAN), 8. Antti Tolvanen (FIN), 9. Tyler Witty (USA), 10. Jim De Paoli (SUI).
Women: 1. Jacqueline Legere (CAN), 2. Amanda Trunzo (USA), 3. Anais Morand (SUI), 4. Sandrine Rangeon (FRA), 5. Tamara Kajah (CAN), 6. Maxie Plante (CAN) 7. Myriam Trepanier (CAN), 8. Junko Yamamoto (JPN), 9. Pauline Chappuis (SUI), 10. Esther Blanc (FRA)