Canadian Kyle Croxall takes home the 2012 Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship title for the first time in Quebec City.

History was made as Kyle Croxall of Mississauga, Ontario brought home the 2012 Red Bull Crashed World Championship title in front of his home country crowd in Quebec City – the first time a Canadian has grasped the title in the three years of the championship series.

Canuck hero Croxall claimed the World Championship ranking in a tight and heated battle for ice cross downhill dominance on the most challenging and exciting track of the 2012 season.

Fastest to the bottom in tonight’s finals and winner of the Quebec City stop is Finland’s Arttu Pihlainen, marking the fourth time he’s won in Quebec. In the closest rivalry of the season, only 40 points separated Croxall and Pihlainen from the championship title in a heart-stopping race culminating in an explosive ending amidst the deafening roars of more than 100,000 fans in the heart of Old Quebec.

As Red Bull Crashed Ice World Champion, Croxall wins exclusive use of a MINI for three years. MINI, a keen promoter of young talent, is once again the official automotive partner of Red Bull Crashed Ice.

“This event is fast, fun, and high energy,” said Adam Shaver, Director, MINI Canada. “It’s a perfect fit for the MINI brand. We’re happy to be here for our second year, and proud to not only recognize the Rookie of the Year, but to honour the World Champion with a MINI. If Croxall gets a thrill from navigating a course with dynamic handling and tight cornering, as his results at Red Bull Crashed Ice would indicate, then he’s going to love driving a MINI.”

Croxall earned the title of Red Bull Crashed Ice World Champion after accumulating a total of 3,000 points along the season’s four stops – Saint Paul (US), Valkenburg (NED), Are (SWE), and tonight in Quebec City. “After placing second overall two years in a row, I knew I had to dig deep and train every day no matter what if I wanted to win, and lifting that World Championship trophy is absolutely worth it,” said the Canadian champ who plans on taking a few weeks off to start training for 2013.

Pihlainen came in a very close second amassing 2,960 points and Kyle’s younger brother Scott Croxall (Mississauga, ON) placed third in the World Championship with 2,300 points at the season’s close.

Representing the ladies, fearless female Fannie Desforges from Fournier, Ontario earned bragging rights as the women’s division champion against the top 16 mighty women. “I feel incredible right now, there are no words to describe it. I finished fifth last year, but I was having a flawless night tonight so I just tried to stay on my feet,” said Desforges. “Hopefully the sport will continue to keep expanding.”

The top finishers in each division skate away with not only bragging rights, but took home a share of the prize purse totalling $16,410.

MINI Rookie Award
To foster up-and-coming athletes, the MINI Rookie Award returned this year to honour the best of Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship newcomers. Ross Thompson of Kamloops, BC came through the finish line as the newcomer to the World Championship with the best finish, winning the MINI Rookie of the Year Award. “I’m honoured to be the MINI Rookie of the Year winner this year,” said Thompson. “I accomplished my goal of finishing in the top 32 which I set out to do.”

A Crash Course on the Urban Ice Track
Quebec City is a classic stop on the Red Bull Crashed Ice circuit – recognized as featuring the longest, fastest, and toughest track of the entire World Championship series. This year’s course started with a bang, as the rounded start ramp launched the riders to intense speeds on Côte de la Montagne, where they then faced tricky jumps and obstacles, like a step up, a roller coaster of dizzying peaks and valleys, a bridge, and a tornado of twists throughout the urban ice course.

Running 584 meters long, averaging 4.5 meters wide, with a 60-metre vertical and 180° turns and 50° incline, the course heralded new obstacles to showcase the skaters’ strength, speed, and technique. Starting at the Château Frontenac, this year’s ice track also required serious strategy, as racers encountered more passing opportunities before reaching the finish line by the Saint Lawrence River at Place de Paris.

The Quest to Qualify
This year, more than 10,000 Canadians registered for the chance to compete at one of 13 qualifying events across the country. From there, a random lottery selected 200 men and 20 women per qualifying city to tackle individual speed trials on a challenging flat-surface obstacle course filled with jumps, dives, and turns. To narrow the crop of athletes down to 100 men and 20 women, top participants from each qualifier who demonstrated the best skating skill, agility, speed, and strength earned a spot at the main event in Quebec City.

About the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship
A combination of hockey, boardercross, and downhill skiing, Red Bull Crashed Ice sets a thrilling stage for intrepid male and female amateur and pro hockey players from around the globe. No flat surfaces here – instead, daring racers hurtle down a 584-metre long ice track coiling through the city’s stunning landscape while battling massive jumps, gaping drops, hairpin turns and each other to the icy, epic finish.

Each stop of the 2012 World Championship featured shoot-outs for national and international athletes. The fastest 64 Canadian and 64 international athletes from each Shoot-Out advanced to the Elimination Round. These ice mavericks were then seeded into brackets of four, as the two skaters from each bracket with the highest speeds advanced to the Finals on Saturday, March 17th.

Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship Ranking 2012:
1. Kyle Croxall (CAN/3000 points)
2. Arttu Pihlainen (FIN/2960 points)
3. Scott Croxall (CAN/2300 points)
4. Adam Horst (CAN/2190 points)
5. Paavo Klintrup (FIN/ 1660 points)

World Championship points were up for grabs at each of the four stops of the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship: 1,000 points all the way down to 0.5 points were collected for athletes who placed first to 100th. Whoever finishes the season with the most points after the four races is crowned the 2012 Red Bull Crashed Ice World Champion.

BMW Group in Canada
BMW Group Canada, based in Richmond Hill, Ontario, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW AG and is responsible for the distribution of BMW luxury performance automobiles, Sports Activity Vehicles, Motorcycles, and MINI. BMW Group Financial Services Canada is a division of BMW Group Canada and offers retail financing and leasing programs and protection products on new and pre-owned BMW and MINI automobiles, as well as retail financing for new and pre-owned BMW Motorcycles. A total network of 44 BMW automobile retail centres, 20 BMW motorcycle retailers, and 29 MINI retailers represents the BMW Group across the country.

[Source: BMW Group Canada/MINI, RICHMOND HILL, March 19, 2012]