Three men and two women will be battling it out for the 2017/18 Ice Cross Downhill World Championship at the end of a scintillating season on skates with a grand finale -- a Red Bull Crashed Ice race this weekend in Edmonton, Canada. The men's and women's championship titles for the world's fastest sport on skates are still wide open after nine ATSX Ice Cross Downhill Championship races in seven countries over the last three months.
Canada's Scott Croxall and Amanda Trunzo of the United States are holding onto slim leads atop the respective men's and women's standings. But two-time champions Cameron Naasz of the United States and Jacqueline Legere from Canada are close behind and still have chances to pull off unprecedented "three-peats" with victories, and in Legere's case a bit of luck, on the challenging downhill ice track in Edmonton. Austria's Marco Dallago is also still in the hunt in the men's competition in third place behind Croxall and Naasz and could, under certain circumstances, also win the title on Saturday.
It has been another remarkable season in Ice Cross Downhill, a sport in which athletes race down specially built ice tracks filled with obstacles such as jumps, bumps and hairpin turns at speeds of up to 80 km/h while jockeying for position with the two fastest racers in four-person heats advancing to the next round. There were eight different winners in the nine previous races to date with only Naasz able to win more than once: a Red Bull Crashed Ice race in Marseille, France and a Riders Cup race in Wagrain-Kleinarl, Austria. Other winners this season included: Derek Wedge (SUI), Marco Dallago (AUT), Patrik Merz (SUI), Luca Dallago (AUT), Maxwell Dunne (USA), Scott Croxall (CAN), Kyle Croxall (CAN).
It was an important comeback season for European racers, who worked especially hard in the off-season and have won four of the nine races to date, after watching North Americans dominate the last two years -- sweeping all the points-rich Red Bull Crashed Ice races since 2014. Marco Dallago and Luca Dallago won two of the first three Red Bull Crashed Ice races this winter before Naasz salvaged North America's pride and won the third, collecting 1,000 points for his efforts in Marseille.
Trunzo has been the dominant force this season in the women's competition with two victories while Legere has the momentum going into the finale after winning the Marseille race. Trunzo, who finished a close second to Legere in Marseille, has an easier route to claim her first world championship. Under the most likely scenario, she only needs to finish eighth or better in Edmonton to clinch the title while Legere needs to win and hope Trunzo doesn't make it to the semi-finals.
Scott Croxall, who won the 2015 world championship, can win his second title with a victory while Naasz, the 2015/16 and 2016/17 champion, could also take home the title with a victory in Edmonton. This is the third straight season in which the two arch rivals will be going into the final race with chances of winning it all. Naasz also has momentum and history on his side. Not only did the American win the last Red Bull Crashed Ice race in Marseille as well as taking second place in the last two Riders Cup races, Naasz also has won the season finale in the last three seasons: 2015 in Edmonton, 2016 in Saint Paul and 2017 in Ottawa, Canada.
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.