It's been a thrilling Ice Cross Downhill season once again, and now the stage is set for an exciting final showdown in Edmonton. In order to test the athletes to their limits and sort out the champions from the contenders, a spectacular track has been constructed in the heart of the city. But what exactly does it take to build an artificial ice track in the middle of a major city? Watch the clip and read on below to find out more.
Overlooking the frozen waters of the North Saskatchewan River Valley, the course will feature a 455-metre ice track with a vertical drop of 40m, making it longer, tougher and faster than 2015. With a series of exciting features from start to finish, this year's champions will have to demonstrate serious skill and athleticism, encountering more jumps, two sets of rollers, an exciting U-turn, and a skating section to increase battles between the riders before reaching the finish line. The much-anticipated feature is the Canadian Big Air, a massive jump on which we could see a rider breaking the world record for the longest jump, set in Munich in 2016 by Tory Merz (USA) who jumped 27 metres and 88 feet.
The new start location adds more length to the course, offering a long downhill sprint leading to the first corner and 1.5-metre-high Bridge Step Down. The riders will need to build up speed to clear the Canadian Big Air and prepare to break hard into the 180-degree BF Goodrich Traction Corner. Following this massive direction change come the Maple Leaf and Speed Rollers, followed closely by the very tricky Hyundai N Section. At the finish combo – with two height variations and off-camera wedges – a good line will be critical.
- Length: 455 m
- Width: 5m
- Vertical drop: 40m
- Ice surface: Artificial, 2800 m2
- Ice Thickness: 12cm
While racing the course is difficult, its construction is Herculean. The core building material for the Red Bull Crashed Ice course is – of course – ice.
- 9 boxes (4ft x 4ft x 4ft, 1700 pounds each) of crashed ice were spread across the streets of Edmonton.
- 4 high performance refrigeration units called "chillers"
- 36,000 litres of salt-water brine (coolant) were piped through the refrigeration system and then through the refrigerated rubber mats that stretch the length of the 455m track
- A team of 24 ice makers sprayed water in a fine mist onto the refrigerated mats 24 hours a day for 6 days to create the competition ice surface.
- A hot water pressure washing system will be used to flush the track in the same manner as a Zamboni would for a hockey rink ice surface.
- An organic crystallizing agent creates ice that's five times denser than that of an NHL rink.
- The cooling system is able to produce ice even in warmer temperatures reaching up to 20 degrees
- Immediately following the competition, two 400KW electric boilers are used to heat the brine and circulate it through the mats to melt the ice
- Over 40% of the track is built on top of scaffolding structures (vs 60% in 2015).
- The track features over 600,000 pounds of scaffolding + 360 000 pounds of I-beams.
- Over 500 Plexiglas sheets.
- 800 specially designed steel supports legs to keep the sideboards upright.
- 100 4 x 4s mounted to custom steel legs help keep the dasher boards in place and provide stability in high impact zones.
- 1,600 Plywood sheets cover the track flooring.
- 4 Forklift trucks are in operation over 8 hours per day for 4 weeks.
- Over 10,000 hours of labour are required just for the construction of the track structures and the ice.
- 4,800 feet of polymer boards.
IMAGES AND SOUND LIVE BROADCAST
Five giant screens using LED technology are installed at various points along the course (2 on Jasper Avenue and 3 at the main Red Bull Crashed Ice site). The entire site will receive sound coverage by a cutting edge sound system
Over 150 people from all around the world (Canada, New Zealand, USA, Austria, Germany and more) worked around the clock to set up the track and audiovisual component for the event, including carpenters, electricians, welders, crane operators, lighting technicians and many more.
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.