Amazing Ice Track Awaits World’s Fastest Skaters in Pra-Loup
Reigning World Champion Cameron Naasz (USA) and former World Champion Marco Dallago (Austria), the winner in Judenburg two weeks ago, as well as the new Number 1 in the Red Bull Ice Cross World Championship, Swiss skater Anaïs Morand, who also won in Judenburg, and reigning champion Amanda Trunzo (USA) are ready to tackle the amazing natural ice for the second ATSX 500 race of this season.
Tristan Dugerdil, the French Ice Cross Champion, crowned last December in Dunkerque, discovered this morning, on skates, the 300-meter track that he had imagined and designed in September, long before the heavy snowfalls of this winter. The track is set at an altitude of 2000 meters, which is an absolute premiere in two decades for the fastest sport on skates. Over 20 tons of equipment arrived last week from Judenburg and have been shipped to the top of La Clappe telemix (chairlift/cabins) in order to build the whole facility.
Training was due to start on Friday morning, in perfect after registration of the 80 men, 20 women and 20 juniors, coming from 20 countries, entered for that 2nd race of the Red Bull Ice Cross World Championship. Among them two sets of brothers: Marco and Luca Dallago, who achieved a superb 1-2 in Judenburg, as well as Arthur and Théo Richalet-Chaudeur, from France, who finished 2nd and 3rd of the Junior category in Austria, behind Russian rising star Egor Tutarikov. They will be the home favourites for the race on Saturday, at the top of La Clappe telemix, which will allow riders and hundreds of spectators to get to the top of the track in just over 4 minutes.
A variety of Ice Cross initiations and training courses will be organized this weekend by the French Federation of Ice Sports (FFSG): one will be open to the general public on Saturday, between 4 and 7 pm, on the ice rink at the heart of the resort; another one will be reserved to beginning riders with a skating pedigree and local hockey clubs, on the ATSX 500 track, on Sunday morning between 10 and 12, before an Ice Cross French Cup reserved to French riders on Sunday afternoon, labelled ATSX 100.
About Ice Cross
In Ice Cross races, fearless skaters hurtle down courses of up to 700 meters in length, filled with obstacles such as bumps, turns, hairpins and waves. The ice can be natural, in ski resorts, or artificial, at city centre locations. Riders go 4-at-a-time, at speeds of up to 80 km/h. The fastest two advance to the next round until there is a 4-rider final, in each category (Men, Women, Junior). Depending on the difficulty of the track and the amount of World Championship/Ranking points available for the athletes, race week-ends are labelled ATSX 250, 500 or 1000. Over the past two decades, 1,000 athletes from 51 countries and 5 continents have taken part in races that have become so popular that they draw enormous and enthusiastic crowds.
Pra-Loup Track Images: Daniel Ortelli