RED BULL CRASHED Ice defending world champion Kyle Croxall in action at the first race of the 2012-13 series

Croxall crashes way to Red Bull victory

Defending Crashed Ice world champ opens news season with win in Niagara Falls

Canada’s Kyle Croxall had to dig deep into his bag of experience to pull off a sensational victory over American Cameron Naasz in a thrill-filled final in the first Red Bull Crashed Ice race of the season in Niagara Falls in front of 35,000 spectators. Many of the stars were upset by hard-charging newcomers.

Croxall, a former 19 Wing Comox firefighter now living in Calgary and defending Ice Cross Downhill world champion, survived a heavy crash near the start but used his five years of experience to come from far behind to win the opening round of the 2012/13 series, to the delight of a frenzied home crowd on Saturday. Second-year racer Naasz and Switzerland’s Kilian Braun were second and third down the treacherous, 460-metre long ice track set up next to the famous Niagara Falls.

Croxall, who had a knack of coming from behind in almost all his races on Saturday, crashed into Braun shortly after the start of the final and turned his fleet-footed rival into a Swiss sandwich.

They both looked hopelessly lost as the sure-footed Naasz sped away toward the finish line. But Croxall bounced right back up and, as the big home crowd cheered him on, began closing in the American, getting back Naasz two corners before the finish.

“It was a lot of pressure,” said Croxall. “It was awesome. I’ve got so many friends here and the Canadian crowd is amazing.” In a big shock, his brother Scott, third in last year’s championship, was eliminated in the first round while 2011 champion Arttu Pihlainen pulled out after a heavy crash in training.

Though denied victory, Naasz’s remarkable performance throughout the competition (when he was the fastest during the timed Shoot Outs and continuing his blistering form right through to the final) was rewarded with a  place on the podium.

It will also give the American fans of ice cross downhill plenty to cheer about ahead of the next stop of the season in Saint Paul, Minn. on Jan. 26. “I’m really looking forward to the race in Saint Paul,” Naasz said. “It’s my hometown and it’s going to be an awesome race.”

Adam Horst, a firefighter from Fort. St. John, placed fourth. In the inaugural Team Challenge competition on Friday, Swatch Pro Team led by Braun took first place over Croxall’s International Gladiators.

 

– Red Bull Crashed Ice

 

 

Just Posted

19 Wing Comox welcomes new wing commander

Col. Dany Poitras assumed command of 19 Wing Comox

Pacific Salmon Foundation contributes $42,000 to Comox Valley wild salmon restoration projects

The Pacific Salmon Foundation announced it is contributing more than $42,000 to… Continue reading

Mount Washington zip line nearing completion

Once finished, the line will be the longest and steepest zip line on Vancouver Island

PHOTOS: Vancouver Island MusicFest revisited

This year’s lineup included Colin James, Tom Cochrane and lots more

Jets host peewee baseball tourney

The Comox Valley peewee A Jets baseball team is hosting a 10-team… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Most Read