American Cameron Naasz grabbed pole position for Saturday's Ice Cross Downhill World Championship grand finale in Edmonton by posting the fastest time in Friday's Shootout. In the women's competition, Canada's Jacqueline Legere was over two seconds faster than championship leader Amanda Trunzo of the United States, who completed the ice track course with the 5th fastest time.
Cameron Naasz, the reigning champion in the world's fastest sport on skates, is attempting to become the first-ever rider to pull off the hat-trick with a prospective third championship win a row and got his weekend off to a flying start by posting the fastest time (40.55 seconds) in the Shootout on Friday down the 455-meter long track in Edmonton. Qualifying for Saturday's final Red Bull Crashed Ice race of the 2017/18 season, Finland's breakout Junior Championship winner Mirko Lahti posted the second-fastest time with 41.34 seconds and his compatriot Markus Juola was third (41.44).
None of Naasz's two rivals still in the title fight managed to finish in the top four of the Shootout on the spectacular artificial ice track filled with bumps, turns and obstacles overlooking the frozen waters of the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Canadian Scott Croxall (first overall) was 5th in the Shootout, Austrian Marco Dallago (third overall) was 8th.
Naasz would in essence need to finish ahead of those rivals to win a third straight championship in the sport where athletes race in heats of four at a time and up to speeds of 80 km/h. The fastest two athletes from each four-person heat advance as a field of 64 is narrowed down to a four-person final.
In the women's competition, championship leader Trunzo had two mediocre Shootout runs and her best time of the day, 48.13 seconds, was more than two seconds off the pace set by Canada's Jacqueline Legere, who posted a time of 46.02 seconds. Trunzo, who has won first place in Saint Paul and Jyvaskyla this season, has to finish in the top eight tomorrow to secure the women's title. Myriam Trepanier of Canada just came in 1.39 seconds behind Legere and is in third place overall.
Finland's Mirko Lahti, who was declared the winner of the Junior championship in Marseille, once again posted the fastest Junior time with 41.38 seconds.
Watch it Live
Red Bull Crashed Ice Edmonton will broadcast LIVE on redbullcrashedice.com and Red Bull TV on March 10 at 8 PM local time (3 AM GMT).
It will also be live-streamed at cbcsports.ca from 8:00 p.m. MST, and will also be available on CBC on March 10, immediately following Hockey Night in Canada at approximately 10:45 p.m. MST. CBC Sports' Kelly VanderBeek will host coverage of the event alongside reporter Jacqueline Doorey, who will provide on-the-ground coverage from the venue including post-race interviews from the mixed zone. Calling the event are Red Bull's play-by-play commentators Troy Manering and Reed Whiting.
French-speaking fans can tune in to TVA Sports for a LIVE broadcast at 8:00pm MST.
Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. For a full list of supported devices visit about.redbull.tv.
If you miss the event or simply want to watch all the action again, the replay will be available on demand a few minutes after the event.