Anticipation is off the charts as the 15th ice cross downhill season moves to Austria and Finland after two historic races in the USA. With a former world champion and young skating stars snatching the American podiums from the frontrunners, this year's battle for the title is shaping up to be the most competitive yet.
The ice cross downhill season is moving almost as fast as the racers themselves. After a thrilling all-time record crowd of 140,000 in Saint Paul, USA, on January 24, the fastest sport on skates is rushing into Europe this week, with the second contest of the new Riders Cup series charging the slopes of Wagrain-Kleinarl, Austria, on January 31. Then it's north to Finland when Red Bull Crashed Ice returns to Helsinki on February 7, followed by the third Riders Cup event, this time in the Finnish city of Jyväskylä, on February 14.
As Helsinki welcomes Red Bull Crashed Ice back to its unique natural track for a second time, fans will be cheering familiar faces like reigning world champion Marco Dallago, of Austria, and the second- and third-place overall finishers for 2014, Scott Croxall, of Canada, and Cameron Naasz, of the USA. But with the amazing depth of talent in the field this year, Dallago has his work cut out in looking to become the first rider ever to earn a repeat world championship. In Saint Paul, it was 2012 world champion Kyle Croxall, of Canada, who earned a benchmark win that ties him with Finland's own Arttu Pihlainen for the most ice cross downhill victories in history - a haul of seven race wins. Finishing in second in Saint Paul was Dean Moriarity, an up-and-comer from Quebec, Canada, who is currently ranked in the number-two spot of the world standings, thanks to also taking second at the first Riders Cup competition in Afton Alps, Minnesota, on January 18.
January 18 – Riders Cup Afton Alps/Hastings, MN (USA)
January 24 – Red Bull Crashed Ice Saint Paul, MN (USA)
January 31 – Riders Cup Wagrain-Kleinarl (AUT)
February 7 – Red Bull Crashed Ice Helsinki (FIN)
February 14 – Riders Cup Jyväskylä (FIN)
February 21 – Red Bull Crashed Ice Belfast (NI)
March 7 – Riders Cup Sherbrooke, QC (CAN)
March 14 – Red Bull Crashed Ice Edmonton, AB (CAN)