Canadians Scott Croxall, Adam Horst and Travis Nagata powered their way to a victory over compatriots Team Ottawa in the final of the Ice Cross Downhill Team Challenge competition in Saint Paul on Friday night to cap an exciting day of Red Bull Crashed Ice racing in front of 10,000 spectators down the twisting, obstacle-filled track running from the Cathedral of Saint Paul towards the banks of the frozen-solid Mississippi River.
The Scott Croxall-led team Living The Dream beat the unheralded Team Ottawa squad. Croxall, picking up his first-ever Red Bull Crashed Ice career victory, had an outstanding day in Saint Paul. He was the fastest qualifier of the day in the International Shoot Out earlier on Friday, stopping the clock in 34.77 seconds ahead of Russia’s Andrey Lavrov and emerging as the man to beat in Saturday’s finals. Then in the evening, as temperatures plunged far below zero Celsius, Croxall was unbeatable throughout the team competition, taking first place three times in the three knockout rounds and even outskating his older brother, Kyle, in the semi-finals.
“I’m just hungry for a win and it’s about time,” said Scott Croxall, who is eager to emerge from the shadows of his older brother, the 2012 world champion who also won the 2012/13 season opener in December in Niagara Falls, Canada. “I’ve had a lot of bad luck in the past and I’m ready to prove myself here. I’m healthy, I’ve been training really hard and I’m ready for a big couple of races.”
Team Ottawa was the surprise package of the evening. Ranked only 19th, the team of Daniel Guolla, Ghyslain Hotte and Adam Skube carved their way confidently through the field, upsetting favourites Swatch ProTeam who won the season opener in Niagara Falls in the quarter-finals and then Mountain Rockers in the semis.
Thousands of hearty Minnesota fans watched the action on the high-speed downhill track filled with jumps, bumps, hairy turns and assorted obstacles. They cheered the strong improvements in the American racers in the year since ice cross downhill made its triumphant return to the United States after a decade’s absence. Zubz, led by Cameron Naasz, was the top American squad in the team competition, helped by team-mates Daniel and Andrew Bergeson. They took seventh place.