Take some of the best ice skaters in the world, throw them onto a massive downhill ice track chock full of hairpin turns, drops, and gaps, and you've got yourself a show.
That's exactly what goes down in the sport of "ice cross downhill," aka Crashed Ice. It may not be the longest-running or most traditional winter sport, but it just may be the most breathtaking to watch. Red Bull Crashed Ice is kicking off the 2017/2018 Ice Cross Downhill Championships on January 19-20, and it's bound to be an exciting event.
The backdrop for the event will be Saint Paul, MN, with competitors racing on a track notorious for its challenging twists and turns. Four skaters will go head-to-head down the 1,600' track, hitting speeds upward of nearly 50 mph. As you may have guessed, it's a physically demanding sprint, and tens of thousands of people turn out every year to watch in Saint Paul, which has hosted Crashed Ice events six times prior.
The sport has become bigger than ever, and this year, athletes are training harder to get faster and stronger. Many of them incorporate CrossFit training into their routines, so Red Bull enlisted the help of CrossFit veteran Camille Leblanc-Bazinet to whip them into top shape. Leblanc-Bazinet programmed a WOD for the athletes two months from the event.
Based on the video of the workout, it's safe to say that even these seasoned athletes, including two-time men's world champion Cameron Naasz and 2016/2017 women's second-place season finisher Amanda Trunzo, learned a thing or two from the CrossFit star.
Naasz, a Minnesota native, has quickly risen in the sport since he got his start in 2012. He became the first man to win back-to-back world championships when he snagged his second in 2017. Now, fans are waiting to see if he can pull a three-peat. Trunzo had an impressive 2016/2017 season, finishing second overall after Canadian Jacqueline Legere. If Trunzo wins the world championships this year, she'll be the first American woman to do so.
Stay tuned to Men's Fitness for more on Red Bull Crashed Ice and the superfit athletes who compete.
The Ice Cross Downhill World Championships include nine events, featuring four Red Bull Crashed Ice races. Check out the schedule below:
- Dec. 16, 2017: Riders Cup, Wagrain-Kleinarl, Austria
- Jan. 19-20, 2018: Red Bull Crashed Ice, Saint Paul, USA
- Jan. 27, 2018: Riders Cup, St Petersburg, Russia
- Feb. 2-3, 2018: Red Bull Crashed Ice, Jyvaskyla-Laajis, Finland
- Feb. 10, 2018: Riders Cup, Saariselka, Finland
- Feb. 16-17, 2018: Red Bull Crashed Ice, Marseille, France
- Feb. 24, 2018: Riders Cup, Minnesota USA
- March 3, 2018: Riders Cup, La Sarre, Canada
- March 9-10, 2018: Red Bull Crashed Ice, Edmonton, Canada
For more information and for tickets, visit redbull.com/crashedice. The Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship will be available live and on-demand on Red Bull TV.