Double World Champion Cameron Naasz moved closer to a third title by winning in Boston on Saturday night, at the first ever Ice Cross Downhill competition held in a stadium. Fellow American rider Amanda Trunzo made it a clean sweep for the USA to continue her 100% record in Red Bull Crashed Ice races this winter.
BOSTON, Massachusetts (USA) – Naasz, who had started his weekend as a clear favourite by posting the best time in Friday morning’s time trials, was untouchable in Boston winning all five races he took part in on a 350-meter artificial ice track in perfect condition.
Benefiting from huge support at Fenway Park, Naasz silenced his rivals in the final by making the best start, as often he does, and leading from top to bottom. He won with a decent margin over Austrian Luca Dallago, who passed Canadian Scott Croxall, the reigning world champion, on the inside of the l ast portion of the track, and France’s Tristan Dugerdil, the surprise guest of this very special party on ice, who dived on the line, but in vain.
“There was some good racing tonight and the crowd was amazing. I hope we do a lot more of these in the near future,” Naasz said in the finish area, with a star-spangled banner wrapped around his neck. In the meantime, the video judge checked the photo finish to confirm that Scott Croxall deserved the last spot on the podium, behind Naasz and Dallago.
His two main title rivals had a tough night: Kyle Croxall, the winner in Jyväskylä, finished 30thafter being kicked out of his heat, in the Round of 32, by a very efficient French duo composed of Dugerdil and his training partner Pacôme Schmitt. Then double World Junior Champion Mirko Lahti made a mistake at the start of his quarter-final and never managed to recover (13th).
In the Women’s final, Trunzo was just as dominant as Naasz, making i t 3 wins out of 3 Red Bull Crashed Ice races this winter, ahead of Canadian Myriam Trépanier and another American athlete, TamaraMeuwissen. Swiss title contender Anaïs Morand, a strong skater, lacked power on this track and finished 4th, ahead of another Canadian, Jacqueline Légère, who won the small final and took the 5thplace.
In Ice Cross Downhill, athletes race down a natural or artificial ice track, four-at-a-time, at speeds of up to 80km/h. The first two advance to the next round as the field is whittled down to a final four in an extreme test of stamina, physical condition and exposure to the elements.
Final results Men:1. Cameron Naasz (USA), 2. Luca Dallago (AUT), 3. Scott Croxall (CAN), 4. Tristan Dugerdil (FRA), 5. Tommy Mertz (USA), 6. Michael Iulianello (USA), 7. Matt Johnson (USA), 8. Shayne Renaud (CAN), 9. Jim De Paoli (SUI), 10. Antti Tolvanen (FIN).
Final results Women:1. Amanda Trunzo (USA), 2. Myriam Trépanier (CAN), 3. Tamara Meuwissen (USA), 4. Anaïs Morand (SUI), 5. Jacqueline Légère (CAN), 6. Tamara Kajah (CAN), 7. Junko Yamamoto (JPN), 8. Maxie Planté (CAN), 9. Elaine Topolnisky (CAN), 10. Emma Krieter (USA).