Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship, Quebec City 2011

Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship, Quebec City 2011


– More than 110,000 fans witness fantastic Finnish Pihlainen edge out Canuck hero Croxall in the 2011 season finale – 

QUEBEC CITY, QC – March 2011 – The electrifying clink of heavy metal to ice and the deafening roars of 110,000 fans heralded the unmistakable return of Red Bull Crashed Ice to its roots in Quebec City for the 2011 World Championship season closer.  All eyes were on 2010 Quebec City champion Kyle Croxall (Comox, BC), as he fought to knock rival Arttu Pihlainen (FIN) off the top block in

Event Participants compete during the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship 2011 on March 19, 2011 in Quebec, Canada.

a battle for the title in front of his home country crowd.   At the end of an intense crusade against competitors clashing head-to-head on a colossal 540-metre urban ice track, Pihlainen emerged victorious in the fastest sport on skates with Croxall placing second in the World Championship standings, third in Quebec City. Pihlainen outpaced and outmatched the 63 other ice cross downhill aces to take full grasp of the glory and the 2011 title.  With an explosive ending, Blainville, Quebec native Louis-Philippe Dumoulin seized second place in Quebec City, bringing the home province crowd to their feet – chanting his name as he marked the return of a Quebecer to the podium. 

“Competing in front of the home crowd, my family and friends, it’s definitely more pressure in the start gate, but once you start the race you forget about everything and it’s just a race – it’s good pressure,” said Dumoulin of his second place performance. 

Pihlainen earned the title of Red Bull Crashed Ice World Champion after accumulating a total of 3,800 points along the season’s four stops in Munich, the Netherlands, Russia, and tonight in Quebec City.  “Three victories in four races, and now the World Championship – it’s especially great to win it in Quebec because it is the best stop out of all the races with a huge audience and great atmosphere,” said the Finnish champ.  Croxall came in a close second amassing 3,200 points and Dumoulin’s placement as second on the podium brought him to 1,610 points at the season’s close. 

Arttu Pihlainen of Finland (Center) is seen during his semi-final with Travis Nagata of Canada (left), Andrey Lavrov of Russia (2nd from left) and Michal Prochazka (CZE right) the Red Bull Crashed Ice, on March 19th 2011, in Quebec, Canada

Another Finnish superstar currently living in Saskatoon, SK, Salla Kyhala, earned bragging rights as the women’s division champion against the top 16 mighty females.  “Our times weren’t much slower than the men’s, so yes, the men were really awesome, but it shows that we can do this too. It feels awesome to come out on top,” said Kyhala.  Showing just how fearless females can be, Kyhala rocketed past her competition, with former champ Kerri Muir (Rocky Mountain House, AB) coming in second and Brossard’s own Marquise Brisebois rounding out the podium.

The top finishers in each division skate away with not only bragging rights, but took home a share of the prize purse totalling $15,150.

The MINI Rookie Award 

To foster up-and-coming athletes, the MINI Rookie Award was introduced at the 2011 Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship. X-Games skier Philippe Poirier of Mont Tremblant, QC came through the start gates as the newcomer with the best finish, winning the first-ever MINI Rookie Award – earning exclusive use of a MINI for testing as the prize. After showing off his fast turns on the ice, Poirier will have the chance to race the streets in addition to receiving an impressive trophy.

Final Race for Ice Cross Downhill Legend
Sweden’s Jasper Felder, who has been part of Red Bull Crashed Ice history since its birth in 2001, holds the record for most straight wins (six) and most career wins (seven).  But the 2011season is bittersweet as the 40-year-old Swede is hanging up his skates after an impressive 10-year career. He attributes his dominance over the early years of the sport to his enthusiasm for it.  “I’ve been on skates since I was two years old and still play Bandy five times per week. I literally grew up on the ice. That was always a big advantage I had,” said Felder.


An Ice-Packed Celebration

Never one to let a party go quietly into the cold, cold night, more than 4,000 fans packed the Coors Light Crash Zone in Montmorency Park to full capacity rocking the night away with internationally renowned DJ Sky Blu of LMFAO on the one’s and two’s. DJ Enferno kicked off the weekend on Friday night to bring the heat to Quebec City.

A Glacial Makeover

Running 540 metres long, an average of 4.5 metres wide and with a 60-metre vertical, the course featured a new start—shorter and lower—that showcased the skaters’ strength, speed, and technique. Starting at the Château Frontenac, this year’s ice track required strategy and offered racers more passing opportunities.

With the blow of a whistle, competitors stormed down Rue du Fort before hitting the spectacular turn in front of the Post Office.  In a cutting edge addition this year, skaters were challenged by a 360o turn (loop) in Montmorency Park before facing the “Splitter”, where the course split for 30 metres, forcing racers to choose sides: either the fastest but tightest route, or the slowest but widest side.  With glory and the Saint Lawrence again in sight, racers sprinted down “The Royal Corridor” and hit the “Victory Turn” before the finish line at Place de Paris.

A Cut Above the Competition

Participants were selected from more than 11,000 Canadians, who registered for one of 12 qualifying events across the country. A lottery randomly selected 200 men and 20 women per qualifying city to tackle individual speed trials on a traditional ice-hockey surface. To narrow the field down to 100 men and 20 women, the top participants from each qualifier who demonstrated the best skating skill, agility, 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 540-metre long ice track coiling through the city’s stunning landscape while in a battle to the finish.

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin of Canada (L), Arttu Pihlainen of Finland (C) and Kyle Croxall of Canada celebrate on the podium during the award ceremony of the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship 2011 on March 19, 2011 in Quebec, Canada.

To start the journey to Quebec City, on January 15 the world’s best ice veterans returned to Munich’s Olympic Park for the Red Bull Crashed Ice season opener, where Kyle Croxall (Comox, BC) captured the first win of the season in front of 23,000 fans. After a challenging race, Arttu Pihlainen (FIN) finished first in Valkenburg (NED) on February 5. The icy endeavour moved to Moscow (RUS) on February 26 and Pihlainen grabbed his second win of the season. 

Each stop of the 2011 World Championship featured an Elimination Round for national and international athletes. The fastest 64 Canadian and 64 international athletes from each Shoot-Out advanced to the Elimination Round.  The ice mavericks were then seeded into brackets of four, as the two skaters with the highest speeds advanced to the Finals on Saturday, March 19.  The highly anticipated season came to a conclusion tonight when the bracket format narrowed the field down to a final four in the men’s and women’s divisions. The World Championship final rankings were determined based on points accumulated over the series’ four stops.

Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship Standings: 1. Arttu Pihlainen (FIN/3800 points), 2. Kyle Croxall (CAN/3200 points), 3. Scott Croxall (CAN/2030), 4. Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, (CAN/1610), 5. Kilian Braun (SUI/1600).
Story – Red Bull Crashed Ice
Photo 1: Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Crashed Ice
Photo 2: Andreas Schaad/Red Bull Crashed Ice
Photo 3: Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Crashed Ice

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Tags: Red Bull

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