Red Bull Crashed Ice will be back for its 15th season in 2015 with four stops, including two new locations in Northern Ireland and Canada. Red Bull Crashed Ice - the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship will also feature a new Riders Cup warm-up competition with four additional events.
The world's best downhill skaters will be trying to dethrone defending champion Marco Dallago, of Austria, in 2015 when the four-race Red Bull Crashed Ice season kicks off in Saint Paul, Minnesota, before moving on to Helsinki, Finland. The fastest sport on skates will feature two new stops this season - in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and in Edmonton, Canada, along with traditional hotspots in Saint Paul, Minnesota (USA), and Helsinki, Finland.
A new Riders Cup competition, which is designed to make the sport more accessible to even more athletes worldwide, will double the number of events this year to eight with athletes also able to earn world championship points at the four new stops. Those participating in the four Riders Cup events, which were added by popular demand, will be able to earn up to 25 percent of the points awarded at the four major Red Bull Crashed Ice stops.
The first Riders Cup race will take place on January 18 at Afton Alps Ski Area in Hastings, MN, USA - and will be organised by American athlete Reed Whiting. The second Riders Cup race will take place on January 31 at a location to be confirmed and organised by Austrian Marco Dallago, the 2014 world champion. The third Riders Cup race will be in Jyväskylä, Finland, on February 14 and organized by Arttu Pihlainen, the 2011 world champion. Finally, the last Riders Cup of the 2015 season will take place in Canada in March.
Dallago became the fifth different world champion in the last five years with a brilliant performance in 2014 when he won three of the four races. But he will be hard pressed by 2012 champion Kyle Croxall, of Canada, and his brother, Scott, who finished second overall in 2014, as well as 2013 champion Derek Wedge, of Switzerland. American Cameron Naasz, who was third last season, also figures to be among the top title contenders along with Luca Dallago, of Austria (4th in 2014), Fabian Mels, of Germany (5th), Reed Whiting, of the United States (6th), and Pacôme Schmitt, of France (7th).
The surging popularity of ice cross downhill has been fuelled in part by the tremendous improvements in skill and experience among the top racers, who now train all-year round for the sport where athletes race up to 60kph down obstacle-filled ice tracks. Huge crowds at races such as Saint Paul and at the permanent ice cross downhill track in Helsinki have also contributed to the sport's growth.
2015 Race Calendar
Jan 18 – Riders Cup Afton Alps/Hastings, MN (USA)
Jan 24 – Red Bull Crashed Ice Saint Paul, MN (USA)
Jan 31 – Riders Cup Wagrain/Kleinarl (AUT)
Feb 7 – Red Bull Crashed Ice Helsinki (FIN)
Feb 14 – Riders Cup Jyväskylä (FIN)
Feb 21 – Red Bull Crashed Ice Belfast, (NI)
Mar 7 – Riders Cup (CAN), tbc
Mar 14 – Red Bull Crashed Ice Edmonton, AB (CAN)