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More than 100 athletes from 17 countries are in Saint Paul for the finale of the #icecrossdownhillworldchampionship this weekend. American aces Matt Johnson and Reed Whiting along with Australia's Luke Webb got a closer look at the artificial ice track carved into a big hill in the middle of Saint Paul.
SAINT PAUL, Minnesota (USA) – The breathtaking 360-meter long Ice Cross Downhill track in Saint Paul will be the featured centerpiece of the climactic battle for the 2015/16 world championship battle this weekend when the world's fastest sport on skates concludes its biggest-season ever with a #redbullcrashedice race in front of what will once again be one of the most enthusiastic crowds of the season. Tens of thousands of fans are expected in Saint Paul for the race held in the city for a fifth straight year.
Led by Minnesota's very own Cameron Naasz who has won two of the three #redbullcrashedice races so far this season, Americans have become a force to be reckoned with in Ice Cross Downhill with five athletes in the top 20 -- including Matt Johnson (who is 13th overall) and Reed Whiting (who is 16th). Johnson, Whiting and Australia's Luke Webb took a closer look at the Saint Paul track on Wednesday that starts on the steps of the Saint Paul Cathedral and drops 35 meters into the valley towards the Mississippi River with challenging features including the “Rhythm Waves”, the “BF Goodrich Wallride” and a “Dino Bridge”.
Naasz, in close second overall, is attempting to become the first American to win the title in a showdown against defending champion Scott Croxall of Canada. The two aces who have dominating the sport this winter will lead a field of more than 100 athletes from 17 countries. Croxall, who is looking to become the first to win two titles in a row, has been in the final in 12 of his last 14 races, only missing out on the final in Saint Paul last year.
“I’d love to do really well in Saint Paul,” said Naasz, who took 24th in a field of 154 in his very first race in the sport when it made its debut in Saint Paul in 2012 but has been in the Final Four here every year since – third in 2013 and 2014 and fourth in 2015. “I’ve made it to the finals three years in a row and expect nothing but the same out of myself this weekend.”
The final race of the 10-stop #icecrossdownhillworldchampionship season in six countries, which featured four #redbullcrashedice and six Riders Cup races, promises to be an epic showdown with 1,000 points up for grabs for the winner, and it marks the fifth straight year that Saint Paul will be hosting the race. The energy level is always high in Saint Paul thanks to the enormous crowds. Kyle Croxall, the 2012 champion, won three of the last four races while Austria’s Marco Dallago won here in 2014 en route to winning the title that year.
The women’s world championship battle is also intense with Canada’s Jacqueline Legere (2,250 points), Myriam Trepanier (2,090 points) and Alexis Jackson of the United States battling for the title. The women’s races have become extremely competitive this season as more women than ever before have joined the sport.
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