Canada's Kyle Croxall won his first Ice Cross Downhill race in more than three years on Saturday at a Riders Cup race in La Sarre, Canada with American Cameron Naasz taking a close second as the championship battle tightened ahead of the final race of the season next week in Edmonton.
In the women's Riders Cup race, Switzerland's Anais Morand beat Canada's Myriam Trepanier with Alicia Blomberg (CAN) finishing third and France's Sandrine Rangeon taking fourth. It was Morand's second Riders Cup win this season after she took top honors at her home race in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
With his second straight second-place finish and third consecutive podium finish, Naasz moved up a notch into second place in the overall Ice Cross Downhill World Championship standings behind Scott Croxall, who was a disappointing seventh in the race on the 420-meter long track set up on a frozen golf course.
Maxwell Dunne (USA) finished third in the Riders Cup race in which 107 men and 15 women from 14 nations competed with Finland's Mirko Lahti taking fourth place. By failing to reach even the semi-finals and finishing far behind in ninth place in a race under the floodlights on a chilly Saturday night in Canada, Austria's Marco Dallago slipped from second to third in the overall standings at the sixth and final Riders Cup race of the season – races by the riders and for the riders. Collecting 250 championship points for the win, Kyle Croxall jumped from sixth to fourth place overall with 1,567.5 points.
"It feels great. It's been a long time coming for another win," said Kyle Croxall of his first victory since a Red Bull Crashed Ice win in Saint Paul in 2015. "I'm pretty happy about it, it puts me good in for the points going to Edmonton."
The championship battle is still wide open. The winner of the fourth and final Red Bull Crashed Ice race in Edmonton next weekend will receive 1,000 points with Scott Croxall (2,745 points), Naasz (2,350 points) and Dallago (2,325 points) still in the hunt. Croxall, the 2015 champion, holds a 395-point lead over Naasz (title winner in 2016 and 2017) and a 420-point lead over Dallago, who was the 2014 world champion.
Morand was delighted to win the women's Riders Cup race, even though it did not add to her championship points total because only the four Red Bull Crashed Ice races count for the women's championship. "Winning is always a surprise for me, a beautiful surprise," she said.
Riders Cup results La Sarre
Men: 1. Kyle Croxall (CAN), 2. Cameron Naasz (USA), 3. Maxwell Dunne (USA), 4. Mirko Lahti (FIN), 5. Jim De Paoli (SUI), 6. Steven Cox (CAN), 7. Scott Croxall (CAN), 8. Michael Iulianello (CAN), 9. Marco Dallago (AUT), 10. Derrek Coccimiglio (CAN).
Women: 1. Anais Morand (SUI), 2. Myriam Trepanier (CAN), 3. Alicia Blomberg (CAN), 4. Sandrine Rangeon (FRA), 5. Tara Hunt (CAN), 6. Virginie Ouellet (CAN), 7. Dominique Lefebvre (CAN), 8. Kendra Antony (CAN), 9. Manon Deschenes (CAN), 10. Joanie Provencher (CAN).