The Ice Cross Downhill World Championship returns to Saint Paul, Minnesota for the second leg of the five-stop 2012/13 title battle. Local hero Cameron Naasz is a hot favorite for the coldest race of the year.
SAINT PAUL (Minnesota) – American Cameron Naasz got his first tantalizing taste of Ice Cross Downhill a year ago on the Red Bull Crashed Ice track in Saint Paul and in less than a year the 23-year-old has become one of the world’s top aces in the sport, taking a strong second place in the 2012/13 season opener last month in Niagara Falls, Canada. On Jan. 26 the man from Minnesota will be looking for his first-ever victory on the breathtakingly challenging track that descends down a steep slope near the banks of the Mississippi River.
It could be one of the coldest weekends of the year in Minnesota with temperatures plunging to an freezing minus 15 degrees below zero Celcius when Naasz goes out to battle championship leader and title holder Kyle Croxall of Canada as well as aces Switzerland’s Kilian Braun, Adam Horst (CAN) and Scott Croxall (CAN). But Naasz will be skating on his home ice and cheered by tens of thousands of hearty Minnesota fans. Kyle Croxall won his home race in Niagara Falls and Naasz hopes to pull off the feat in St Paul.
“I can’t wait to get to Saint Paul – it’ll be my home town crowd,” said Naasz, who has raised his season goal to a top 3 finish from an original target of top 10. “I feel so much more confident this year. I hit the gym in the off-season, went skiing and snowboarding. I tried to do a little of everything to incorporate it into getting better in this sport.”
The new Team Competition will also be back for the second leg in Saint Paul after the hugely successful inaugural team race in Niagara Falls. Swatch Pro Team led by Killian Braun triumphed in a thrilling series of knock-out round battles against the International Gladiators led by Kyle Croxall in an action-packed finale.