Dallago Brothers rule opening race in Judenburg
Former World Champion Marco Dallago, from Austria, opened the winter season in style by winning an exciting final in Judenburg, on Saturday, ahead of younger brother Luca and Czech rider Michael Urban. In the Women’s race, reigning champion Amanda Trunzo, of the United States, was beaten fair and square by Swiss skater Anaïs Morand. In the Juniors race, Russian hopeful Egor Tutarikov managed to finish ahead of French brothers Arthur and Théo Richalet-Chaudeur.
“I feel amazing. This win was really unexpected because I was really tired from working. The first race is always a question mark, and apparently the training did turn out really good, so I can’t be any happier”, the 2014 World Champion said after his 8th career win, which earns him the first 500 points of the new season. The final was first lead by Urban, who took an excellent start, but Marco then managed to overtake him in the long middle section, thanks to his superior gliding skills. Luca joined the party in 2nd place by passing Urban in the last turn and speeding uphill to the finish line.
The Dallago Brothers were obvious favourites at home, thanks to the absence of the reigning champion, American Cameron Naasz, and the Canadian Croxall brothers, in this opening race of the world’s fastest sport on skates. They also benefited from the premature elimination of French Champion Tristan Dugerdil, in the quarter finals, and they now lead the Red Bull Ice Cross World Championship heading to the Southern French Alps, on January 11 in Pra-Loup.
In the Women’s race, Swiss lightweight and former figure skater Anaïs Morand took an amazing start and jumped ahead of reigning champion Trunzo to take the lead and keep it until the finish line. On her way to her 4th Ice Cross win, she had won her quarter final and semi-final heats, as if the summer break never existed. The third place on the podium was taken by local hero Veronika Windisch, a very good speed skater, ahead of Latvian 18-year-old sensation Justine Zonne.
Last but not least, the Junior race was another brotherly event, with Frenchmen Arthur and Théo Richalet-Chaudeur qualified for the final. They both had to accept the superiority of dominant 20-year-old Tutarikov, eager to win his very first race at the highest level of Ice Cross racing. They collided in the last 100 meters but managed to finish ahead of promising Swiss rider Filipe Carvalheiro.
In one last twist to the 2019/20 calendar, the site for another Japanese leg of the Red Bull Ice Cross World Championship has been confirmed in Judenburg: on February 1, Nagano will host its first ever ATSX 250 event. This will be the ideal dress rehearsal for the big Japanese day of this winter: the ATSX 1000 event scheduled in Yokohama for February 15.