All eyes on Fenway for the first ever stadium Red Bull Crashed Ice
Written by Daniel Ortelli 5 February
This was meant to happen one day. At the end of this week, the ATSX Ice Cross Downhill World Championship 2018/ 19 will take over one of the most iconic sporting venues in North America, Boston's Fenway, for the last Red Bull Crashed Ice of an already historical season, which started with a first ever race in Asia.
Two months after a warm opener in Yokohama, Japan at the beginning of December comes the event that all riders and organisers have been waiting for: a new date in the USA. Following the huge success of Red Bull Crashed Ice in Saint Paul, Minnesota over the past seven years, a special place in New England takes its place, with thousands of fans expected to fill the famous Fenway Park.
On the track side, a 350m (1150ft) long artificial ice track has been built inside the stadium, with lots of drops and bumps, sharp corners, and everything that's needed to make it a special place to skate. "It's going to be very technical and I will give it my all," said Canada's Kyle Croxall after winning in Finland last Saturday. "It's right up my alley," Richie 'Jojo' Velasquez, leader of the Junior Ice Cross World Championship added after finishing fourth in Jyväskylä.
"The bumps and drops will suit me, because I'm used to it from my experience of in-line," says freestyle roller world championship runner-up Amandine Condroyer, one of the top eight female riders. Many skaters will love the place, especially Swiss freeride ski instructor Derek Wedge, a tough customer and a former world champion who was born in Boston 36 years ago.
On the sporting side, the continuing battle between North American riders this winter, especially American Cameron Naasz and Canada's Croxall brothers, has created a lot of interest since December. The cherry on the icy cake is the huge fight in the Women's class between Naasz's fellow American Amanda Trunzo and Canadians Jacqueline Légère, the leader of the world championship, and Myriam Trépanier.
In both classes, the world title is up for grabs and only 2,000 points are left to win: 1,000 in Boston on Saturday, 500 in Mont du Lac (Wisconsin, USA), and a final 500 at La Sarre (Québec, Canada) on the first weekend of March.