Canada’s Scott Croxall leapfrogged his brother Kyle to the top of the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship with an inspiring Red Bull Crashed Ice victory on Saturday in front of an enthusiastic Belfast crowd of 24,000 spectators watching a brilliant night of racing in front of the iconic Parliament Buildings at Stormont.
BELFAST, Northern Ireland – Scott Croxall, on an improbable hot streak with three straight victories in the last three weeks after waiting six long years for his first win, had the luck of the Irish behind him on Saturday and was unstoppable in all five of his races down the spectacular 430-meter long track and sent the Northern Ireland crowd into a frenzy with his scintillating performance in the finals of the world’s fastest sport on skates. It was an all-Canada sweep with Dylan Moriarity taking second place and his twin brother Dean taking third — all three athletes on the podium of Irish descent. Austria’s Luca Dallago took fourth in an action-packed final.
“It feels amazing to win here in front of such a great crowd and especially against so many of the top guys in our sport,” said Croxall, who had been winless in 13 successive finals in his six-year career before winning the Red Bull Crashed Ice race in Helsinki two weeks ago and then the Riders Cup race in Jyväskylä, Finland on February 14. “I’m just happy to get the win here. I’ve worked hard on getting my starts faster out of the gates and I’m going to keep working hard for that title.”
It was a bitter night for his brother Kyle, who finished 9th after being eliminated in the quarter-final round and dropped from first to third in the championship with just two races left this year in Canada. The final Riders Cup race, a new competiton “by riders for riders” in which athletes can earn one-quarter as many Red Bull Crashed Ice points, will be in Sherbrooke, QC (CAN) on March 7 and the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship season finale will crown its world champion at Red Bull Crashed Ice in Edmonton, AB on March 14.
The race was the hottest ticket in Belfast, a city bursting with pride to host the fastest race track ever built. It was a fantastic course the riders loved that dropped straight down the steps of the parliament and into a vast hill packed with amazed fans. The fast and furious track also featured a 5.5-meter high step-up over the highest bridge ever built for a race as well as punishing sets of bone-jarring jumps and bumps before a high-speed U-turn Wall Ride right before the finish line.
Results: 1. Scott Croxall (CAN), 2. Dylan Moriarity (CAN), 3. Dean Moriarity (CAN), 4. Luca Dallago (AUT), 5. Cameron Naasz (USA), 6. Paavo Klintrup (FIN), 7. Derek Wedge (SUI), 8. Marco Dallago (AUT), 9. Kyle Croxall (CAN), 10. Miikka Jouhkimainen (FIN)
World Championship standings: 1. Scott Croxall (2765), 1. Dean Moriarity (2235), 3. Kyle Croxall (2227.50), 4. Marco Dallago (1987.50) 5. Cameron Naasz (1962.50), 6. Dylan Moriarity (1775), 7. Miikka Jouhkimainen (1222.50), 8. Derek Wedge (965), 9. Paavo Klintrup (955), Dan Witty (USA) (915.
Pictures: Joerg Mitter, Sebastian Marko, Daniel Grund