Although most of the Alps is still waiting for winter to well and truly arrive, everything is ready for the start of the Red Bull Crashed Ice - Ice Cross Downhill World Championship 2016/17 in Wagrain-Kleinarl. Course director Marco Dallago recently confirmed that the first Riders Cup event will take place as planned on 10.12. (10:00-12:00 qualifying heats, 20:00-22:00 finals). Europe's only permanent Ice Cross Downhill course will be officially opened with a Kids' Day where former world champion Dallago will introduce children and teenagers to this thrilling high-speed sport.
Athletes from 20 countries will be present at the season opener in Austria, including three former world champions: Marco Dallago from Austria, Martin Niefnecker from Germany and Derek Wedge from Switzerland. France's Tristan Dugerdil and Pacôme Schmidt, who finished fourth and sixth respectively in last year's World Championship, are also among the favourites for the win together with the Finnish duo of Miikka Jouhkimainen and Paavo Klintrup.
The 300m course is divided into four sections. After leaving the start gate the athletes take on a twisty section with many tight corners, followed by a high-speed straight with jumps. The third Rhythm Section leads into the final uphill sprint to the finish line.
The qualifying heats take place on Saturday morning from 10:00 until 12:00. The finals begin under the floodlights at 20:00 next to the Egglift in Wagrain-Kleinarl.