Canadians Dominate Elimination Round and Skate Into the Finals at The Falls

Winners of the first ever Red Bull Crashed Ice Team Challenge, Swatch Pro Team, rocket down steep slopes in a battle against Team Combat in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The debut of the team competition on Friday, November 30 kicked off the 2013 Ice Cross Downhill World Championship season set against the stunning natural wonder of Niagara Falls. (CNW Group/Red Bull Crashed Ice)

--Niagara Falls to crown the first Red Bull Crashed Ice champion of the season on Saturday, December 1, 2012 --

NIAGARA FALLS, ON, Dec. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Oblivious to the freezing winds and driving snow, a total of 19 Canadians earned spots in the finals of the 2013 Ice Cross Downhill World Championship by taking first or second place in the Elimination Round, and will be joined by eight Canuck aces who already qualified for the finals with the 32 fastest times in today's International Shoot-Out.  Competitors from around the world advanced today in the first Elimination Round of the season to the 64-man finals on Saturday, December 1, for the eagerly awaited season opener on a steep track overlooking iconic Niagara Falls.

While American Cameron Naasz had the fastest time in the qualifying round, defending champion Kyle Croxall of Mississauga, ON is also moving on to the finals, clocking the sixth fastest shoot-out time. Finland's Arttu Pihlainen, the 2011 champion, was eighth fastest and Fort St. John, BC's Adam Horst, another title favourite this season, placed 17th. Kyle knows very well that being the World Championship titleholder also makes him the one to beat. "I'm wearing the bull's eye. All the others will try to get me, but I am up for the challenge," said Croxall, acknowledging his own strengths. "My brother Scott and Arttu will definitely be my closest opponents, just like last year, but I won't make it easy for them. I will give it my all. There is nothing I want more than to win again."

Tonight, for the first time in the series, the Red Bull Crashed Ice Team Challenge hit the course, as up to six of the world's best Ice Cross Downhill racers rocketed against each other down the 4.5-meter wide ice track set up on a steep slope opposite the majestic Niagara Falls. Switzerland's Swatch Pro Team led by veteran ace Kilian Braun, along with teammates Kim Muller and Jim DePaoli came out on top of the ferocious battle to the podium against the International Gladiators, led by reigning world champion Kyle Croxall. Each of the 30 teams was comprised of three competitors, and each team had budget of 5,700 draft points - based on the world standings - to pick its athletes. After a round of qualifiers that took place earlier today, the top 16 teams advanced to the Team Challenge finals, where Swatch Pro Team came out on top, with each member sharing a cash purse of $6,000.  "The team competition is a bigger challenge because there are six riders on the track and it's more interesting for the crowds because the crashes are even more spectacular," said Braun. Croxall said he also enjoyed all the extra racing. "The more time you get on the track, the better you're going to get at it and the more consistent you'll be," he said. "I think the team competition is pretty cool."

A combination of hockey, boardercross, and downhill skiing, Red Bull Crashed Ice presents the ideal playing field for amateur and semi-pro hockey players around the world. Instead of a flat-surface rink, racers storm down an urban ice track that not only winds its way through an urban environment, but delivers a series of hairpin turns, 45 degree vertical drops, and a liberal dose of jumps, gaps, and ice stairs.  Red Bull Crashed Ice is arguably the fastest sport on skates, and is dictated by one simple rule: first to the bottom wins.

Crashing the Airwaves
The 2012/13 Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship will crash onto airwaves throughout the season as Sportsnet and TVA Sports will broadcast the series' five stops. Witness all the action live from Niagara Falls on December 1, 2012 at 8:30 p.m. ET on Sportsnet and TVA Sports from the comfort of your own living room, as skaters hurtle down a twisting, rolling ice track at speeds of more than 60km/hr.

Red Bull Crashed Ice is part of the "Red Bull Signature Series" on NBC, which features the most progressive and innovative snowboarding, mountain biking, freestyle motocross, ice cross downhill, skiing, and BMX events. The Red Bull Crashed Ice Niagara Falls race will air on NBC on January 26, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. ET. For more information, visit www.redbullsignatureseries.com.

Event Schedule :: Saturday, December 1
Media centre open at Skylon Tower       9:00 am - 12:30 am
Athlete training on Red Bull Crashed Ice track      11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship Finals    7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Press conference at media centre        10:30 pm - 11:00 pm

* After the award ceremony, media are invited to the winners' press conference.

Red Bull Crashed Ice Newsroom
The Red Bull Crashed Ice Newsroom is a free-of-charge media service providing news stories, high-resolution photographs, clips for TV, web and radio as well as race results and background information about the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship. For more news and content including media accreditation and results, please visit the newsroom at www.redbullcrashedicenewsroom.com.

A Video News Cut from tonight's Elimination Round and the Team Challenge is now available in the following FTP site:

http://redbullca.ftpstream.com
UN: guest
PW: FTPguest09
Folder: Red Bull Crashed Ice Niagara Falls

Facebook: www.facebook.com/redbullcrashedice
Twitter: @RedBullCanada | @CrashedIce | #crashedice
Instagram: RedBullCanada
Website: www.redbullcrashedice.com

Red Bull Playgrounds: Your exclusive mobile guide for Red Bull Crashed Ice! Red Bull Playgrounds - the only social discovery app that turns the world into your playground - is now available for the iPhone (http://bit.ly/playgroundsiphone, Android http://bit.ly/playgroundsandroid as well as on the website www.redbull.ca/playgrounds).

Image with caption: "Winners of the first ever Red Bull Crashed Ice Team Challenge, Swatch Pro Team, rocket down steep slopes in a battle against Team Combat in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The debut of the team competition on Friday, November 30 kicked off the 2013 Ice Cross Downhill World Championship season set against the stunning natural wonder of Niagara Falls. (CNW Group/Red Bull Crashed Ice)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121130_C5387_PHOTO_EN_21445.jpg

SOURCE: Red Bull Crashed Ice

For further information:

Emily Palley-Samson
Edelman
416-894-8176
Emily.Palley-Samson@edelman.com 

Melissa Legaspi
Edelman
416-587-7775
Melissa.Legaspi@edelman.com 

Josée Laperrière
Red Bull
647-680-2855
Josee.Laperriere@ca.redbull.com  

Marie-Claire D'Aoust
Gestev
418-802-6275
mcdaoust@gestev.com