Red Bull Crashed Ice brings on the world in 2010

- For the fifth year in a row, adrenaline junkies from Canada and beyond gear up for a chance to battle to the bottom of the world's most exciting ice track -

QUEBEC CITY, March 3 /CNW/ - On March 20, 2010, Red Bull Crashed Ice will skate into Quebec City for the fifth year in a row, and that means more than 100 competitors from across Canada and around the world will have their eye on the championship title. But first, they will have to put metal to ice and battle their way to the bottom. Bigger, bolder and uniting the world one winter-loving nation at a time, Red Bull Crashed Ice has already delivered 14 spectacular races. Beginning in 2010, the fastest sport on skates will emerge as a World Championship. Athletes representing 19 different countries will compete in Munich and Quebec City, hoping to be crowned the inaugural champ. Munich was the first city to host Red Bull Crashed Ice in 2010, now all eyes will be on Quebec City. Final rankings will be determined based on points accumulated over the two races.

Making the cut

In total, more than 12,000 Canadians applied for the chance to compete at the 2010 edition of Red Bull Crashed Ice. After a lottery system to identify the successful registrants, over 11 qualifiers were held across Canada. Each qualifier consisted of individual speed trials on a flat ice surface in a traditional indoor hockey rink in order to narrow the field down from 1,000 to the top 100 male and 20 female skaters. The top participants from each qualifying event who demonstrated the best skating skill, agility, strategy and strength earned a spot in the finals in Quebec City, where consecutive heats of four skaters are primed to race head-to-head in a double elimination bracket (based on time). Joining the top male and female skaters in Quebec City will be reigning 2008 and 2009 champion Arttu Pihlainen of Finland; Canada's own 2007 champion in Québec City and Helsinki, Kevin Olson of Lethbridge, AB; 2006 champion and Munich's 2010 second place finisher, Gabriel Andre of Edmonton, AB and Quebec's hometown hero, Christian Papillon.

At the final event in March, the top 64 qualifiers will be narrowed down to the final four in the men's division, and from the top 16 qualifiers to the final four in the women's division. The World Championship final rankings will be determined based on the points accumulated over the two stops. The top four finishers in both the mens' and womens' divisions will skate away with not only bragging rights, but a share of the prize purse totalling $10,000 for both divisions.

New Course Design

This year, both racers and fans alike can expect another spectacular glacial makeover of Quebec City's famous and sinuous Côte de la Montagne. Running 565 meters in length with a 60m vertical, the Red Bull Crashed Ice 2010 course will start under the iconic gaze of the Château Frontenac and conclude by the icy currents of the Saint Lawrence River at Place de Paris. Reaching speeds of up to 50 km/hr, racers won't have time to admire the stunning landscape of the city as they face vertical drops, turns and bumps along their way to the bottom.

The starting gate is the first and last chance for skaters to take in the view, because just after the whistle blows competitors will storm down the Rue du Fort and hit the barrel jump, an homage to the classic Quebecois sport. Racers will reach speeds of over 50 km/hr before hitting a spectacular re-imagined turn in front of the Post Office, which sits across from the Parc Montmorency and one of the oldest schools in North America, the Petit Séminaire de Québec. This is where the real action starts, ladies and gentlemen. Skaters will be faced with the "Splitter", where the course splits to accommodate the two arches under the Porte Prescott, forcing the racers to pick sides; either the fastest but tightest one or the slowest but largest side.

Next, in the middle of the steepest part of Côte de la Montagne, the track will make a sharp left which will certainly be the most decisive path of the course. The action quickly fast forwards at the "Painted Wall Drop" - as skaters will be consumed by the downhill banked corner draining them down to Place Royale, home of the oldest church in North America.

With glory and the Saint-Lawrence again in sight, the skaters will sprint down "The Royal Corridor" and hit the Victory Turn before the finish line on Place de Paris. If they've got the skills, then its back to the top for another run until one racer is crowned champ in the both the Men's and Women's Divisions.

First Stop: Munich

Red Bull Crashed Ice officially becomes a World Championship in 2010. On January 16, 2010 the capital city of Bavaria played host to the first ever Red Bull Crashed Ice on German soil. Athletes from around the globe battled head-to-head in Munich's Olympiapark - built for the 1972 Summer Olympics. The serpentine ice track featured banked turns, challenging curves, and fearsome obstacles that dropped all the way down to the park's Olympic Lake. The main challenge for the athletes was the banked curve, where they tried to keep their speed up on the open stretch of ice with a pylon at the end which was circled from either side.

About Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship

A combination of hockey, boardercross, and downhill skiing, Red Bull Crashed Ice sets a thrilling stage for intrepid male and female amateur and pro hockey players from around the globe. No flat surfaces here - instead, daring racers hurtle down a 565m ice track (with a 60m vertical) coiling through the city's stunning landscape while navigating through vertical drops, jumps and hairpin turns in a battle to the finish. There's only one rule: first to the bottom wins!

Since Québec produces some of the world's best hockey players, its capital city is a fitting return location for Red Bull Crashed Ice. Already, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have witnessed the action-packed new sport of ice-cross downhill in cities with rich hockey roots, including its debut in Stockholm, Sweden (2000), Klagenfurt, Austria (2001), Duluth, Minnesota, USA (2003, 2004), Moscow, Russia (2004), Prague, Czech Republic (2005, 2009), Helsinki, Finland (2007), Davos, Switzerland (2008), Lausanne, Switzerland (2009) along with its exciting fourth annual Canadian showing last year in Quebec City.

Special Thanks

Red Bull Crashed Ice is possible thanks to partners including the Quebec Government, the City of Québec and the Quebec City Tourism. Red Bull Crashed Ice extends special thanks to the Merchants Associations of Old Quebec and Place-Royale, the Old Quebec Citizen Association, SODEC, event producer Gestev and its volunteers, the residents of Quebec City and especially the residents of Vieux-Québec.

Red Bull Crashed Ice Content

Video: www.redbullcontentpool.com

Images: www.redbull-photofiles.com

About Red Bull Energy Drink

Red Bull(R) Energy Drink is a functional beverage with a unique combination of ingredients. It has been specially developed for times of increased mental and physical exertion, and can be drunk in virtually any situation: during sports, at work, while driving and during leisure activities. Red Bull(R) Energy Drink: increase performance; increases concentration and reaction speed; improves vigilance; and stimulates metabolism.

SOURCE Red Bull Crashed Ice

For further information: For further information: For media in Quebec City, please contact: Marie-Claire D'Aoust, Gestev, (418) 802-6275, mcdaoust@gestev.com; For English speaking media, please contact: Alana Lipton, Melissa Legaspi, Edelman, (416) 979-1120 x 222, 272, alana.lipton@edelman.com, melissa.legaspi@edelman.com; Sonia Klinger, Red Bull Canada, (416) 542-7493, sonia.klinger@ca.redbull.com; For French speaking media, please contact: Marie-Anne Grondin, Edelman, (514) 844-6665 x 246, marie-anne.grondin@edelman.com; Josée Laperrière, Red Bull Canada, (416) 542-7485, josee.laperriere@ca.redbull.com

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