USA Athletes Set For Ice Cross Downhill Race In Saint Paul

Red Bull Crashed Ice determines national athletes after final qualifier

Jan 09, 2013, 07:27 ET from Red Bull

SAINT PAUL, Minn., Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship Tour Series announced the 100 national athletes that have been chosen for the tour stop in Saint Paul. Eight qualifiers were held across the US.  Along with 100 international hopefuls, the ice cross downhill athletes will race four-at-a-time down the most technical track of the series this month in Saint Paul racing at speeds of up to 40mph. Red Bull Crashed Ice will make its three-day stop in the state of hockey January 24-26 at the steps of the Cathedral of Saint Paul.  Officially closing out qualifier the season for the US, 400 athletes gave it their best for their chance at ice cross downhill glory at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown Saint Paul.



Gaining momentum in this fast growing sport, Cameron Naasz from Lakeville, MN has his sights on the podium later on this month. Naasz, who placed second in Niagara (the first US athlete to ever land in the top 3), has been training intensely since the first stop, and is looking to inspire his fellow Minnesotans who will be joining him at this month's race. So what is the hometown favorite doing to prepare for the second tour stop of the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship Series? A lot of endurance training, cold weather preparation and rest. "It's important to stay healthy and build my stamina," stated Naasz. "I've been pushing myself to the limits so that I can start to make a plan of attack. I'm not nervous, but I know I need to be prepared."

Athletes from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Alaska and Massachusetts along with a few enthusiastic athletes from Canada flocked to the Xcel Center on Sunday in hopes of competing in Red Bull Crashed Ice - Saint Paul. Hosted by three members of the 2012 Team USA Andrew Bergeson, Cameron Naasz and Brian Schack, men and women raced two at a time, with the top 60 fastest times making it through to the main race later this month.  The time trial course challenged contenders with unique features, designed to simulate the tight turns and unexpected jumps that a downhill ice cross course could have. Other qualifiers were hosted across the US too, including major the hockey towns of Boston, Detroit, and Chicago.

Red Bull Crashed Ice kicks-off the competitions on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. and continues each evening until the finals on Saturday.  For more details, please check out or @redbullMSP on twitter.

About Red Bull Crashed Ice – Saint Paul
The world's fastest ice cross downhill athletes are coming back to Saint Paul to compete in the toughest competition on ice: Red Bull Crashed Ice. Athletes will go four-at-a-time through a demanding, gritty, glacial downhill course full of turns, canals and chutes – all against the backdrop of the iconic Cathedral of Saint Paul. Back in the land of 10,000 lakes for the second time, this year's 1280 foot long man-made ice track has been specifically designed for head-to-head battle. It will once again be the most technically challenging course this season, featuring a higher start ramp at 48 feet. In 2012 80,000 people came out to watch the brave and daring athletes take on the Minnesota cold, and the action returns to the US on January 24-26, 2013 as the second stop on this year's World Championship tour.

About Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship Series
Built into urban areas with tons of steel, massive cooling systems and thousands of square feet of frozen water, this one-of-a-kind series combines American football, ice hockey, downhill skating and boarder-cross. A gritty downhill chute on ice will be the stage in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators for the five-stop global championship, which along with Saint Paul, MN, includes spectacular courses in Canada, Switzerland, and Russia with the finale going back to Quebec, Canada. 

Points are up for grabs at each of the five stops of the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship: the winner collects 1,000 points and competitors all the way down to 100th (0.5 point) can collect valuable points. Whoever finishes the season with the most points after the five races is crowned champion. 

In 2012, there were four races around the globe – Sweden, The Netherlands, The United States and Quebec, Canada – many in sub-zero conditions.  Athletes from 30 nations attempted to qualify and take the stage in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators who watched the four races.

There have been a total of 24 races since the first Red Bull Crashed Ice race in Stockholm, Sweden in 2001.  In fact, two of these events happened in Duluth, MN in 2003 and 2004.  It grew into a World Championship phenomenon in 2010 with a two-race series in Munich and Quebec where Germany's Martin Niefecker claimed the inaugural title.  The series has expanded to five global stops across North America and Europe.