American Cameron Naasz is looking to extend his lead at the Red Bull Crashed Ice race on a frosty-cold natural ice track in frigid Finland on Jan 29/30 that kicks off the second half of the season of the world's fastest sport on skates. A pack of Europeans will be going all out to stop Naasz and the dominant North Americans.
American Cameron Naasz will be looking to hold onto his lead in the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship and score his third straight Red Bull Crashed Ice victory of the season – and fourth in a row going back to the end of last season -- in the frozen-cold Finnish college town that lies about 270 km north of Helsinki, where temperatures are expected to be some 15 degrees below zero. It is so reliably cold in Jyväskylä-Laajis that the monstrously long track with its 17 turns and other obstacles is the only natural Red Bull Crashed Ice track of the season after Naasz won the first two stops of the season on synthetic ice in Quebec City and Munich.
“You need consistency and to stay focused because everyone at the top in the race this year is so good,” said Naasz, who leads with world championship standings with 2,200 points after taking second place in a Riders Cup race in Avoriaz, France on Saturday behind Canada’s Dean Moriarity, who is now second overall with 1,540 points with defending champion Scott Croxall of Canada, who was only ninth in Avoriaz, in third place overall with 1,485 points. Croxall got the first Red Bull Crashed Ice win of his career in Helsinki last season, a victory that “broke the ice” after 13 winless finals before that and triggered a three-race win with a victory in the Riders Cup race here in Jyväskylä-Laajis last season and a win in Belfast to pave the way for his first championship.
Super fit Naasz, who trained extremely hard throughout the off season, said he is looking forward to another battle royal through the second half of the season against Moriarity and Croxall, who is his teammate in the competition on their Living the Dream squad. “We’re really getting a healthy rivalry going this season,” Naasz said. “We’re teammates and good buddies but when we step onto that track there’s no one else who wants to win more than me and him. I’m looking forward to many more final races against him this season.”