Red Bull Crashed Ice: Pihlainen wins again

With raucous cheers and hearts pounding, Red Bull Crashed Ice 2009 sped into Quebec City as 64 male – and for the first time ever – 16 female daredevils careened to the bottom of a thrilling and chilling urban ice track.

Red Bull Crashed Ice in Quebec.  Copyright: Xavier Dachez/Red Bull Photofiles“My adrenalin was pumping,” said Pihlainen. “You can’t imagine. It feels unbelievable to win two years in a row. I was hoping to win again, but you never know what can happen during a race. I was lucky because I didn’t make one mistake today. The race, for me, was perfect and I’m definitely coming back next year.”

And if it was up to the doc, Wallace wouldn’t have participated in tonight’s finals. She tweaked her knee in one of the qualifying rounds and was advised by physio not to skate in the event. Her answer: "No way am I missing this! Get the tape..."

“It feels phenomenal to be the first woman to win Red Bull Crashed Ice,’ said Wallace. “It’s an honour, truly an honour. I didn’t know what to expect but I knew it was going to be a full adrenalin rush and that’s the reason why I signed up. I didn’t expect to win, but I don’t hate it one bit! I’m absolutely coming back next year.”

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 across the country. No flat surfaces here – instead daring racers hurtle down a 550m ice track coiling around Quebec City’s urban environment, featuring a ridiculous sequence of razor-sharp turns, ice steps and gap jumps. Over the course of the weekend, 120,000 fans watched Red Bull Crashed Ice athletes battle to the bottom in arguably the fastest sport on skates.

Pihlainen in action.  Copyright: Didier Debusschere/redbullphotofiles.comFollowing Pihlainen was second place, Lari Joutsenlahti from Espoo, Finland, third place Kyle Croxall from Mississauga, Ontario and fourth place Michael Krainer from Klagenfurt, Austria. This year’s first ever Women’s Division heralded the fastest women on skates. Following Wallace’s lead was Jennifer Hartley from Edmonton, Alberta in second place, Marquise Brisebois in third and fourth place Caroline Bérubé, both from Montreal, Quebec. The final four in each division took home $5,000, $3,000, $1,500 and $500 respectively.

For Crashed Ice veterans and Canadian favourites like two time champion Kevin Olson of Lethbridge, Alberta and hometown hero Christian Papillon of Quebec City, Quebec, the fourth edition of Red Bull Crashed Ice proved to be bittersweet as glory came just out of their grasps. Papillon, who trained for 2009 by constructing his own ice track, has rocketed out of the start line at Red Bull Crashed Ice for four years in a row, but this year was edged out of the championship finals round finishing fifth overall. Olson has yet to make it a three-peat to the podium with a heartbreaking finish early on in the night, falling victim to the final stretch of the track.

Huber Brothers.  Copyright: Organiser

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Final Day of the ADAC.  Copyright: Sascha Jurek /

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