-- Over 100,000 fans witnessed Canuck hero Croxall edge out Finnish Pihlainen in the 2012 season finale--
QUEBEC CITY, March 17, 2012 /CNW/ - History was made as Kyle Croxall of Mississauga, ON brought home the 2012 Red Bull Crashed World Championship title in front of his home country crowd in Quebec City - the first time a Canadian has grasped the title in the three years of the championship series. Canuck hero Croxall claimed the World Championship ranking in a tight and heated battle for ice cross downhill dominance on the most challenging and exciting track of the 2012 season. Fastest to the bottom in tonight's finals and winner of the Quebec City stop is Finland's Arttu Pihlainen, marking the fourth time he's won in Quebec. In the closest rivalry of the season, only 40 points separated Croxall and Pihlainen from the championship title in a heart-stopping race culminating in an explosive ending amidst the deafening roars of more than 100,000 fans in the heart of Old Quebec.
Croxall earned the title of Red Bull Crashed Ice World Champion after accumulating a total of 3,000 points along the season's four stops - Saint Paul (US), Valkenburg (NED), Are (SWE), and tonight in Quebec City. "After placing second overall two years in a row, I knew I had to dig deep and train every day no matter what if I wanted to win, and lifting that World Championship trophy is absolutely worth it," said the Canadian champ who plans on taking a few weeks off to start training for 2013. Pihlainen came in a very close second amassing 2,960 points and Kyle's younger brother Scott Croxall (Mississauga, ON) placed third in the World Championship with 2,300 points at the season's close.
Representing the ladies, fearless female Fannie Desforges from Fournier, ON earned bragging rights as the women's division champion against the top 16 mighty women. "I feel incredible right now, there are no words to describe it. I finished fifth last year, but I was having a flawless night tonight so I just tried to stay on my feet," said Desforges. "Hopefully the sport will continue to keep expanding."
The top finishers in each division skate away with not only bragging rights, but took home a share of the prize purse totalling $16,410.
MINI Rookie Award
To foster up-and-coming athletes, the MINI Rookie Award returned this year to honour the best of Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship newcomers. Ross Thompson of Kamloops, BC came through the finish line as the newcomer to the World Championship with the best finish, winning the MINI Rookie Award - earning bragging rights, a trophy, and exclusive use of a MINI for testing. "I'm honoured to be the MINI Rookie winner this year," said Thompson. "I accomplished my goal of finishing in the top 32 which I set out to do." After showing off his fast turns on the ice, Thompson will have the chance to race the streets in addition to receiving an impressive trophy. MINI, a keen promoter of young talent, is once again the official automotive partner of Red Bull Crashed Ice.
A Crash Course on the Urban Ice Track
Quebec City is a classic stop on the Red Bull Crashed Ice circuit - recognized as featuring the longest, fastest, and toughest track of the entire World Championship series. This year's course started with a bang, as the rounded start ramp launched the riders to intense speeds on Côte de la Montagne, where they then faced tricky jumps and obstacles, like a step up, a roller coaster of dizzying peaks and valleys, a bridge, and a tornado of twists throughout the urban ice course.
Running 584 meters long, averaging 4.5 meters wide, with a 60-metre vertical and 180° turns and 50° incline, the course heralded new obstacles to showcase the skaters' strength, speed, and technique. Starting at the Château Frontenac, this year's ice track also required serious strategy, as racers encountered more passing opportunities before reaching the finish line by the Saint Lawrence River at Place de Paris.
The Quest to Qualify
This year, more than 10,000 Canadians registered for the chance to compete at one of 13 qualifying events across the country. From there, a random lottery selected 200 men and 20 women per qualifying city to tackle individual speed trials on a challenging flat-surface obstacle course filled with jumps, dives, and turns. Fifty walk-up spots were also available at each event for determined athletes who weren't selected in the lottery. To narrow the crop of athletes down to 100 men and 20 women, top participants from each qualifier who demonstrated the best skating skill, agility, speed, and strength earned a spot at the main event in Quebec City.
About the 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 584-metre long ice track coiling through the city's stunning landscape while battling massive jumps, gaping drops, hairpin turns and each other to the icy, epic finish.
Each stop of the 2012 World Championship featured shoot-outs for national and international athletes. The fastest 64 Canadian and 64 international athletes from each Shoot-Out advanced to the Elimination Round. These ice mavericks were then seeded into brackets of four, as the two skaters from each bracket with the highest speeds advanced to tonight's Finals.
Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship Ranking 2012: 1. Kyle Croxall (CAN/3000 points), 2. Arttu Pihlainen (FIN/2960 points), 3. Scott Croxall (CAN/2300 points), 4. Adam Horst (CAN/2190 points), 5. Paavo Klintrup (FIN/ 1660 points)
World Championship points were up for grabs at each of the four stops of the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship: 1,000 points all the way down to 0.5 points were collected for athletes who placed first to 100th. Whoever finishes the season with the most points after the four races is crowned the 2012 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 more news and content, please visit the newsroom at www.redbullcrashedicenewsroom.com.
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For more information about Red Bull Crashed Ice, visit: www.redbull.ca/crashedice
Image with caption: "ICE COLD VICTORY! Canadian Kyle Croxall triumphs as the 2012 Red Bull Crashed Ice World Champion at the epic season finale in Quebec City, Saturday, March 17. This year's glacial adventure spanned four thrilling stops across the world, culminating in the heart of Old Quebec where Kyle accumulated the most points crowning him World Champion. (CNW Group/RED BULL CRASHED ICE)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120318_C5414_PHOTO_EN_11248.jpg
Image with caption: "Arttu Pihlainen of Finland clinches the title as the top finisher at Red Bull Crashed Ice 2012 in Quebec City on Saturday, March 17. Blazing a trail of fire on ice, Arttu smoked the competition with an impressive finish in the fastest sport on skates. (CNW Group/RED BULL CRASHED ICE)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120318_C5414_PHOTO_EN_11246.jpg
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