American Cameron Naasz captured the overall lead in the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship standings on Saturday with a sensational victory in the fourth stop of the 2012/13 season in Lausanne on the Red Bull Crashed Ice track billed prior to the race as a test of courage, with local hero Kim Muller, of Switzerland, taking second and Canada’s Scott Croxall in third.
More than 40,000 winter-sports fans cheered the world’s top 64 ice cross downhill athletes down the high-speed 450-metre-long tracked filled with jumps, bumps and hairpin turns.
Naasz, who had finished a close second and then third in the first two races of the year, had a brilliant final run. The 23-year-old, a college student from Minnesota, mastered the difficult four-metre-high “Spine” right after the start and then quickly sped away from the pack. Naasz, who had led the first two races of the season before being caught just before the finish, never slowed down in Lausanne.
“I worked hard between races to get my stamina up because that’s what was hurting me before and it paid off,” said Naasz, who won 1000 points to move into first place with 2445 points. He now leads Canada’s Kyle Croxall, who got just 110 points after only coming in 20th place having lost out in the Round of 32. “It’s incredible, I didn’t see that coming at all,” said Naasz when asked about taking a solid 326.40-point lead heading into the final round in Quebec City on March 16. “It’s awesome. There’s no pressure. I’m just going to go up there and do what I can do.”
Switzerland’s Derek Wedge, the pre-race favourite who won the last race in the Netherlands, was eliminated in the quarter finals after crashing near the start and ended up ninth. Austria’s Marco Dallago, the second-fastest qualifier who breezed through the early rounds, struggled in the semi-finals and ended up fifth.
Visit redbullcrashedice.com/results for the full rundown from the week's racing in Switzerland!