The extreme sport of ice cross downhill heads into a new season in 2012. The world championship battle will take place this year, as in 2010 for the first time, in both Europe and North America.
Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship 2012 calendar:
Saint Paul (USA) –January 12-14
Valkenburg (NED) – February 2-4
Are (SWE) – February 16-18
Quebec City (CAN) – March 15-17
The combination of speedskating, boardercross and downhill skiing has only been around for 10 years but ice cross downhill has already overtaken many other established sports.
There are participants from 30 nations – 15,000 athletes packed into the pre-qualifying in Canada alone last year – and venues around the world that are bursting at the seams with spectators.
The rules are simple: four athletes line up at the start and the first across the finish line wins. Speed, agility, perserverance, toughness and courage at speeds of up to 60kph are the ingredients needed for success.
After the first official ice cross downhill world championship in 2010, with races in Munich (GER) and Quebec City (CAN), where the skaters battled it out shoulder-to-shoulder before Germany’s Martin Niefnecker claimed the inaugural title, there were four races in 2011. They drew a total of more than 170,000 spectators who watched races in frosty temperatures in Munich (GER), Valkenburg (NED), Moscow (RUS) and Quebec City (CAN).
The first race ever was in Stockholm (SWE) in 2001 and there have been 20 races since. The defending champion is Arttu Pilhainen, of Finland, while Sweden’s Jasper Felder is the winningest athlete of all time with six consecutive race victories.
World Championship points are up for grabs at each of the four stops of the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship 2012: the winner collects 1,000 points with competitors all the way down to 100th collecting valuable points. Whoever finishes the season with the most points after races in Saint Paul, (Minnesota, USA), Valkenburg (NED), Are (SWE) and Quebec City (CAN) will be crowned the 2012 Red Bull Crashed Ice World Champion.
Stay tuned to redbullcrashedice.com for more details about next year's competition – including how to qualify for 2012!