Canadian firefighter upsets the Ice Cross Downhill aces


Rogue Mag - Red Bull Crashed Ice
© Red Bull

Unheralded Adam Horst pulled off the biggest upset victory in the history of the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship with his first win on Saturday after favorites Arttu Pihlainen of Finland, and Kyle and Scott Croxall of Canada crashed on the most difficult Red Bull Crashed Ice track ever built.

Defending champion Arttu Pihlainen was headed to a high-speed victory on the steep and bump-filled Ice Cross Downhill track in the Swedish winter resort Are but the flying Finn tumbled to the ice on a treacherous climb late in the spill-filled race and was overtaken by hard-charging outsider Adam Horst in a dramatic finish in front of 10,000 spectators. Scott Croxall, racing with a broken left wrist, had his hopes for a first victory dashed by a heavy crash early in the final but survived to finish third. Canada’s Kyle Croxall’s championship lead over Pihlainen dwindled to 240 points with 1,000 points still up for grabs in Quebec.

Rogue Mag - Red Bull Crashed Ice
© Red Bull

Horst, a 26-year-old firefighter, had never finished higher than fifth and was only 20th in qualifying. But he stayed on his feet through the five knock-out rounds and despite tense battles in the final against Croxall and Pihlainen he stayed hot the Finn’s heels, taking the lead just before the finish. Kyle Croxall hoped to clinch the championship in Are but got caught in a pile up in his quarter-final race and then tripped on an incline while leading, a costly fall that ended his two-race winning streak and run of seven-straight podiums. “I got hit from behind and that was it,” he said.

Rogue Mag - Red Bull Crashed Ice
Adam Horst ( CAN ) / © Red bull

It was a star-spangled banner performance for the Americans with Tigh Isaac taking sixth place after training for a week in Are and Cameron Naasz was 15th. But it was a disappointing for Gwenael van Aken (BEL), who was 34th after qualifying fourth, and Akira Saruwatari (JAP), who finished 35th despite qualifying fifth.

Rogue Mag - Red Bull Crashed Ice
Kim Mueller (SUI),Travis Nagata (CAN), Mikko Hyvoenen (FIN) / © Red Bull

1. Adam Horst (CAN)
2. Arttu Pihlainen (FIN)
3. Scott Croxall (CAN)
4. Jim de Paoli (SUI);
5. Kim Muller (SUI)
6. Tigh Isaac (USA)
7. Miikka Jouhkinmainen (FIN)
8. Lukas Kolc (CZE)
9. Kilian Braun (SUI)
10. Michael Urban (CZE)

World Championship:
1. Kyle Croxall 2200 pts.
2. Pihlainen 1960
3. Scott Croxall 1700
4. Adam Horst 1690,
5. Fabian Mels (GER) 1274

Rogue Mag - Red Bull Crashed Ice
Arttu Pihlainen (FIN), Scott Croxall (CAN), Adam Horst (CAN) / © Red Bull

Rogue Mag - Red Bull Crashed Ice
Arttu Pihlainen (FIN), Killian Braun (SUI), Martin Niefnecker (GER) / © Red Bull

Rogue Mag - Red Bull Crashed Ice
Adam Horst (CAN), Arttu Pihlainen (FIN), Jim de Paoli (SUI) , Scott Croxall (CAN) / © Red Bull


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