Cameron Naasz, Jacqueline Legere Très Magnifique in Marseille

The 2016-2017 Red Bull Crashed Ice season began in Marseille, France and the results were a little Déjà vu. American Cameron Naasz, coming off his first Ice Crown Downhill title last season, opened with a victory in the year’s first event, as did Canada’s Jacqueline Legere, who also won the Ice Crown Downhill championship last year.

Both skaters entered the event as the favorites and they did not disappoint. After both won their respective shootouts, posting the best time trial results, the two competitors took control of the trials leading up the finals.

Cameron Naasz’s victory was a very dramatic one because the American had to do it twice. After breezing through the qualifying events, last year’s champion competed against fellow American Maxwell Dunne and former champions Scott Croxall of Canada and Marco Dallago of Austria.

In the initial run in the finals, Naasz skated ahead of the competition and took the event easily. However, after review, it was found that his gate opened a split second before the other competitors and the final was scraped and rerun.

It made no difference to the American, however. Naasz’s second run was even better than the first, as he raced down the course with a completely flawless run, finishing first in the 360-meter course. Dunne finished second, while Croxall took third. Two other Canadians, Guillaume Bouvet-Morisette and Dan Witty each earned points in the standings by finishing fifth and sixth respectively. Marco Dallago’s brother Luca took seventh overall and two Americans, Daniel Bergeson and Tommy Mertz took eighth and ninth. Jim De Paoli of Switzerland grabbed the final points.

After the event Naasz talked about having to win the race twice to win the first Red Bull Crashed Ice of the year. “I just really wanted it. After winning the first time and having to race again, I just wanted it even more.”

This is the seventh career event that Cameron has won in the Red Bull Crashed Ice series. That ranks him first all-time. He has won four of the last five events.

Jacqueline Legere of Canada, Amanda Trunzo of the United States, Sydney O’keefe of the United States and Myriam Trepanier of Canada compete during the finals of Women at the first stage of the ATSX Ice Cross Downhill World Championship at the Red Bull Crashed Ice in Marseille, France on January 14, 2017.

On the women’s side, Jaqueline Legere picked up where she left off last season, winning the first event of the season. In the finals, the Canadian flew out of the starting gate, grabbing a commanding lead and never relinquishing it. She easily finished ahead of Americans Amanda Trunzo and Sydney O’Keefe and fellow countrywoman Myriam Trepanier.

For Legere, it was her third win in the last four Ice Crown Downhill events. Her three victories are the most in the women’s competition, which joined the Red Bull Crashed Ice series in 2015.

Also earning points in the Marseille event were Canadians Elaine Topolnisky, Tamara Kajah, Veronika Windisch, and Maxie Plante, who finished fifth through eighth, and host country heroes Amandine Condroyer and Sandrine Rangeon who earned ninth and 10th place finishes.

Next weekend is Round 2 in the race for the Red Bull Crashed Ice Crown Downhill title. This will be hosted in Finland. Cameron Naasz and Jaqueline Legere will be favored in those events as well.

Results

Featured Image by Joerg Mitter

By Robert Pannier

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