Amanda Trunzo dazzled the fans at the Red Bull Crashed Ice downhill event in St. Paul on Saturday night, dominating the finals race on her way to the victory in the first event of the 2018 season. The Blaine, Minnesota resident beat last year’s overall champion Jacqueline Legere t0 win her second career race.
The men’s race proved to be arguably the most exciting contest that St. Paul has seen. Last year’s winner in his home state, Cameron Naasz, looked like he had the race all but locked up, but a misstep opened the door for Austria’s Marco Dallago to earn the victory, his first win in Minnesota since 2014.
The women’s final pitted Trunzo against Canada’s Legere and Myriam Trepanier, as well as Austria’s Veronika Windisch. The American got off to a fast start, pursued closely by Legere. Coming out of the second turn, Trepainer slipped, pushing her further back.
That opened the door for Amanda Trunzo to take a commanding lead. She cruised down the long stretch, taking about a 20 foot lead heading into the final jump-turn, which she handled with grace and skill. She then sprinted to the finish for his second career win as the hometown crowd cheered their hero on to the victory.
The only question was who was going to finish second as both Legere and Windisch sprinted to the finish line. The race was so close that it required a review by the judges who determined that the Canadian literally won by less than two millimeters.
Marco Dallago Wins Crazy Men’s Event
The men’s event will be one that people will be talking about for years to come. American Cameron Naasz, who won last year’s event in St. Paul, took the lead coming out of the shoot, followed closely behind by Canada’s Scott Croxall, who was the world champion in 2015.
Coming out of the first turn, Croxall got tangled up with Marco Dallago and it looked like the two may have lost a chance at victory, but both former champions pushed hard to stay in the race. Naasz looked like he was in total control until he caught his foot on the ledge coming out of the barrel roll. That caused him to lose his balance and he fell just below the last jump.
Dallago managed to rebound to make it a close race between him and American Michael Iulianello for second. However, when last year’s champ slipped, the door was open for both Dallago and Iulianello.
In the final jump, the Austrian gained the advantage coming out of the turn, and sprinted home for his first win in St. Paul since 2014. Iulianello, who goes by “Iggy,” collided with Croxall in the final turn, but held onto his spot for second place. Croxall was hurt on the exchange, but managed to finish the race to take third.
The Red Bull Crashed Ice downhill series moves to Saint Petersburg, Russia next weekend. This will be the second time that the Russian city has hosted an event, following last year’s successful debut.
Images Courtesy of the Red Bull Crashed Ice Pool
By Robert Pannier