Cameron Naasz wins the Golden Jubilee Red Bull Crashed Ice in Asian debut
Written by Steven Kirschbaum 8 December 2018
American Cameron Naasz won the first-ever Red Bull Crashed Ice race staged in Asia with an impressive start-to-finish victory on a high-speed downhill ice track at Yokohama, Japan on Saturday. Canada’s Kyle Croxall finished second and Maxwell Dunne (USA) grabbed third place as the nine-race 2018/19 Ice Cross Downhill World Championship season got off to a flying start in Japan.
Defending champion Scott Croxall (CAN) was knocked out in the quarter-finals on the challenging 350-metre long track, filled with bone-jarring bumps, jumps and rollers, ending up in a disappointing ninth place in the race held near Tokyo Bay and in front of the famous Yokohama Bay Bridge. Unseasonably warm weather had made the racing conditions difficult for the riders and organisers all week, but the ice cooling system and hard work by the track crew created superb conditions for the 50th Red Bull Crashed Ice Race.
“It’s hot out here and we’re not used to these warm temperatures,” said an exhausted Naasz, who won back-to-back Ice Cross Downhill Championships before Croxall snatched the 2017/18 title in the world’s fastest sport on skates. “I’m very hungry to get my world title back. It’s beautiful to race here in Asia. Everyone’s so friendly and they put on a great event.”
In the women’s race, American Amanda Trunzo took the lead from the corner at the top of the track and never looked back to get her title defence off to a flying start. Canada’s Jacqueline Legere was second and Myriam Trepanier took third.
Favorite Luca Dallago of Austria was knocked out early in the round of 64. Other athletes, like German Titov of Russia, who came in sixth and was narrowly knocked out in a photo-finish by American Maxwell Dunne, have stepped up their game. “Everybody’s separated by a fraction of a second”, said winner Naasz about the closeness of the race “Everybody has been working really hard over the summer and getting better.” Athletes like Sweden’s Richard van Wijhe (seventh place) and Swiss rider Kevin Sciboz (eighth place) had impressive performances at the start of the season and are quickly shooting to the top
In Ice Cross Downhill, athletes race down the obstacle-filled artificial 350-metre ice track four-at-a-time at speeds of up to 80kph. The first two advance to the next round as the field is whittled down to a final four in the extreme test of stamina, conditioning and exposure to the elements.
Finals results men: 1. Cameron Naasz (USA), 2. Kyle Croxall (CAN), 3. Maxwell Dunne (USA), 4. Mirko Lahti (FIN) 5. Marco Dallago (AUT), 6. German Titov (RUS), 7. Richard van Wijhe (SWE), 8. Kevin Sciboz (SUI), 9. Scott Croxall (CAN), 10. Pacome Schmitt (FRA)
Final results women: 1. Amanda Trunzo (USA), 2. Jacqueline Legere (CAN), 3. Myriam Trepanier (CAN), 4. Veronika Windisch (AUT), 5. Tamara Kajah (CAN), 6. Junko Yamamoto (JPN), 7. Cassie Rooney (USA), 8. Samantha Meuwissen (USA), 9. Anais Morand (SUI), 10. Amandine Condroyer (FRA).