Switzerland's Derek Wedge Takes Ice Cross Downhill Win in Quebec City in Season Finale

- More than 100,000 spectators watched the 2013 World Championships live in Quebec City, QC on March 16, 2013 -

QUEBEC CITY, March 16, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ice Cross Downhill World Championship battle concluded tonight with a grand finale in Quebec City, as Derek Wedge from Switzerland took home the 2012/2013 Ice Cross Downhill World Championship title for the very first time. Finland's Arttu Pihlainen outpaced Canada's Kyle and Scott Croxall and won his fifth Red Bull Crashed Ice race in Quebec City. In tonight's final bracket, three Red Bull Crashed Ice competitors battled for the world championship title and, to the delight of a frenzied home crowd, Wedge outpaced his closest rivals, Kyle Croxall and Cameron Naasz, dashing down the longest track of Red Bull Crashed Ice history in the fiercest rivalry of the season. Only 31.4 points separated Wedge and Kyle Croxall from the World Championship title in tonight's final race, culminating in an explosive ending amidst the deafening roars of more than 100,000 fans in the heart of Old Quebec.

"I can't believe it," said an ecstatic Wedge, who only joined the Ice Cross Downhill world tour last year, "I didn't think it was possible; I've always dreamed of becoming a world champion, and now I've actually done it".

Arguably the fastest sport on skates, the 2012/2013 Red Bull Crashed Ice season finale electrified the crowd as the top athletes from across Canada and around the globe hurtled down the epic urban ice track at speeds upwards of 60 km/hr for the chance to revel in Red Bull Crashed Ice glory for the eighth consecutive year in Quebec City.

Mississauga's Scott Croxall outskated his older brother, Kyle Croxall, in the World Championship competition for the first time tonight, saying, "it was bound to happen sooner or later! We've been in a lot of finals together and I'm really proud".

The women's division of ice cross downhill has evolved over the last five years into an enthusiastic, high-speed battle for glory, with fierce competition among the twenty women from five countries participating, including Canada, Japan, Finland, Austria, and the United States. Representing the ladies, fearless female Dominique Thibault from Oxbury earned bragging rights as the women's division champion against the top 16 mighty female athletes.  "I've always ranked top three in this competition," Thibault said, "but this year, I really went with the adrenaline, took a chance and won it all".

"Hot Blades" Revolutionize Ice Cross Downhill
The term "hot blades" took on a whole new meaning in the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship race, as some of the competitors used battery-heated skate blades to reduce friction and increase on-ice speeds. Only a handful of the world's best Ice Cross Downhill racers used the Thermablade heated skates during Quebec City's 2012/13 season finale; those who did, like Canada's John Fisher and Reed Whiting of the United States, said they quickly fell in love with the hot skates. Microprocessors inserted into each skate's blade keep its temperature steady at 15 degrees Celsius. The layer of water under the blade increases due to the heat, reducing friction and resistance between the blade and the ice.

A Season Filled with Spills and Thrills
Defending champion Kyle Croxall used his five years of ice cross downhill experience to win the opening round of the 2012/13 Ice Cross Downhill World Championship on December 1st, dashing ahead of his closest rivals on the treacherous 460-metre ice track lining Niagara Falls, Ontario. A few short weeks later, on January 26th in St. Paul, MN, Canada's Kyle Croxall beat his brother Scott and American Cameron Naasz in a breathtaking photo finish in front of 115,000 frenzied spectators. Naasz had jumped into the early lead during this race, but ran out of energy a few short strides before the finish line. Switzerland's Derek Wedge won a thrilling Ice Cross Downhill World Championship race in the Netherlands on February 9th, with a brilliant surprise victory as Austria's Marco Dallago finished second and local hero Bart van Roosmalen took third. American Cameron Naasz came out victorious in front of 40,000 spectators in Lausanne, Switzerland on March 2nd. This was the fourth stop of the five-race season, where Naasz stormed into the overall lead in the world championship standings.

A Track Built for Canadian Racers
Quebec City is a classic stop on the Red Bull Crashed Ice circuit, recognized this year as home to the lengthiest, fastest, and toughest track of the entire Ice Cross Downhill World Championship series.  Running more than 594-metres long, averaging 4.8 metres wide, with a 60-metre vertical drop, this year's course featured a new start and new obstacles created to showcase the skaters' strength, speed, and technique.

This year's start ramp, by the Samuel de Champlain monument, launched the riders into the first straight along the Château Frontenac, before turning into an ice-path chock-full of tricky jumps and obstacles. From the track's rollercoaster-like stretch, to its first-ever 360° corkscrew spiral, to its lengthy final stretch by the banks of the Saint Lawrence River at Place de Paris, this track not only pushed racers' stamina, but also their tenacity!

Ferocious Battle to the Podium - Team Competition
Switzerland's three-man Swatch Pro Team pulled off a clutch victory over Team Finland on Friday, to win their second team race of the 2012/13 season. While Canadian athletes typically dominate in Ice Cross Downhill, this Swiss team won both the season opener Team Challenge in Niagara Falls, Canada in December and yesterday's team event in Quebec. The two Canadian-led title hopefuls, the International Gladiators and Team Living The Dream, had a chance to take the inaugural championship going into the finals, but were beaten in earlier rounds and ended up in second and third place overall in the Team Challenge.

Red Bull Crashed Ice Kinect Digital Championship
After a series of online and offline qualifiers that took place around the world, the top 16 players met in Quebec City this week to fight for victory in the Red Bull Crashed Ice Kinect Digital Championship Finals. The competitors battled in a two-player mode, building speed by swinging their arms like ice cross downhill champions. Corey Sceranka from Ohio and Jędrek Lewandowski from Poland earned their spot in the finals after a tight battle in qualifying rounds. Sceranka gave it all tonight in the finals at the real Red Bull Crashed Ice finish line, walking away with not only bragging rights but also with a custom branded Xbox console, the official Kinect trophy, and a trip to one of the Red Bull Crashed Ice races next season.

Heaven's Basement Electrified the Crowd
British rock band Heaven's Basement performed Unbreakable - the signature song of the 2013 World Championship and a selection of their songs - live at the 2013 season finale. The band known for their heavy touring schedule and high-energy live shows rocked the cold night away at Place de Paris.

About Red Bull Crashed Ice - Ice Cross Downhill World Championship
Take some of the best and toughest ice-hockey players in the world, place them in a sizzling atmosphere with stunning surroundings, build a downhill race track with tons of steel, an enormous cooling system and thousands of square meters of frozen water, and a Red Bull Crashed Ice "arena" is made.  Since the sport's first race in 2001, Red Bull Crashed Ice has become one of the most breathtaking winter sports events in the world.  Ice Cross Downhill aces hurtle down immense urban ice tracks in groups of four, shoulder to shoulder, fighting it out for victory. The whole race is held on a steep downhill track dotted with chicanes, jumps and rollers. The one and only rule of this race is simple: first to the bottom wins.

Ice Cross Downhill World Championship Standings: 1. Derek Wedge (SUI) 2650 points 2. Kyle Croxall (CAN) 2618.6 points 3. Cameron Naasz (USA) 2585 points 4. Scott Croxall (CAN) 2241.6 points 5. Marco Dallago  (AUT) 2120 points 6. Miikka Jouhkimainen(FIN) 1930 points 7. Kim Mueller (SUI) 1708 points 8. Paavo Klintrup (FIN) 1412 points 9. Jim De Paoli (SUI) 1360 points 10. Adam Horst (CAN) 1218 points.

World Championship points are up for grabs at each of the five stops of the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship: 1,000 points all the way down to 0.5 points are collected for athletes who place first to 100th.  The competitor who skates through the season with the most points accumulated after the five races is crowned the 2013 Red Bull Crashed Ice World Champion.

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 photos, results, and articles, and videos from tonight's finals, please visit the Red Bull Crashed Ice Newsroom at www.redbullcrashedicenewsroom.com.

A Video News Cut from tonight's Finals is now available in the Red Bull Crashed Ice Newsroom (video section) and on the following FTP site: http://redbullca.ftpstream.com

Username: guest | Password: FTPguest09 | Folder: Red Bull Crashed Ice Quebec City

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


Image with caption: "Derek Wedge of Switzerland triumphs as the 2013 World Champion at the thrilling Ice Cross Downhill World Championship Season Finale in Quebec City on Saturday, March 16. This year's epic circuit featured five Red Bull Crashed Ice electrifying stops across the world, concluding in the iconic Old Quebec. (CNW Group/Red Bull Crashed Ice)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130317_C5683_PHOTO_EN_24611.jpg

Image with caption: "(L-R) Second place Scott Croxall of Mississauga in Ontario, first place Arttu Pihlainen of Finland, and third place Derek Wedge of Switzerland climb the podium at Quebec City's Ice Cross Downhill World Championship finals. On Saturday, March 16, more than 100,000 spectators cheered these champions on as they dashed down a massive urban ice track through the city's historic district. (CNW Group/Red Bull Crashed Ice)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130317_C5683_PHOTO_EN_24613.jpg

Image with caption: "On Saturday, March 16, more than 100,000 spectators came out to cheer their favourite Red Bull Crashed Ice athletes to victory at the 2012/2013 Ice Cross Downhill World Championship finals. Stretching an epic 594 meters through the streets of Old Quebec's stunning historic district, this urban ice course was the longest in Red Bull Crashed Ice history and featured the sport's first ever 360-degree corkscrew spiral. (CNW Group/Red Bull Crashed Ice)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130317_C5683_PHOTO_EN_24615.jpg

SOURCE: Red Bull Crashed Ice

For further information:

Emily Palley-Samson
Edelman
647-580-7711
Emily.Palley-Samson@edelman.com

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

For media in Quebec City, please contact:   
Marie-Claire D'Aoust | Marie-Michelle Gagné
Gestev
418-802-6275 | 418-561-6762
mcdaoust@gestev.com  | mmgagne@gestev.com

For media in Montreal, please   contact: 
Catherine Pouliot
Edelman
514-816-4812
Catherine.Pouliot@edelman.com

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