A total of 33 Canadians, including more than a dozen rookies, advanced to the 64-man finals of the ice cross downhill race in Quebec City with a truly awe-inspiring display of local skating talent. Many hard-charging Canadians upset several seeded international athletes in Friday’s Elimination Round.
World championship leader Kyle Croxall, of Canada, cruised to an easy victory in his four-man heat as the Canadians gave a big home crowd plenty to cheer about as they knocked out many top-seeded international racers. Finland’s Arttu Pihlainen, second to Croxall, kept the pressure on with a comfortable victory in his heat.
Not only did all 11 of Canada’s seeded international athletes advance to Saturday’s finals but so did 22 rookies, who first made it through a gruelling qualifying process in which 10,000 athletes had applied. The Canadians knocked out prominent seeded internationals Tigh Isaac (USA), Akira Saruwatari (JPN), Michal Prochazka (CZE), and Cameron Naasz (USA).