Red Bull Crashed Ice returns in 2014 with new rules for the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship.
The sport's top athletes will compete in Helsinki (FIN), Saint Paul (USA), Moscow (RUS) and Quebec City (CAN), battling it out shoulder-to-shoulder as they hurtle down an assault course made of ice. Hundreds of hopefuls will start, but only one can become world champion.
With athletes descending 600-metre-long downhill courses four-at-a-time at speeds of up to 70kph, crashes are the only thing that's certain. Competitors are, however, strictly forbidden from intentionally causing a fellow competitor to either fall, slow down or leave the course, for example by holding his shirt, pushing or striking him. Any athlete found guilty by the Competition Committee of hindering another athlete intentionally will be disqualified automatically.
At each World Championship event, the field is made up of the best riders from the ice cross downhill international elite and the fastest athletes from national qualifying races held around the world. Each event is preceded by national qualifiers held across the host country and is open to everybody looking to take part in the main race and test themselves against the best ice cross racers in the world.
Ice Cross Downhill World Championship events will typically be held over a three-day period. The first day comprises Athletes' Briefing, training and a National Shootout, while the second day is made up of an Athletes' Briefing, training and an International Shootout and Elimination Round (heat format). In the National and International Shootouts, two runs per athlete are timed and the fastest time counts. The top 32 athletes from the National Shootout and the athletes ranked 33rd to 64th in the International Shootout advance to the Elimination Round. The top 32 athletes from the International Shootout advance directly to the finals. The finals on day three will comprise an Athletes' Briefing, training and the final competition itself (heat format).
Athletes ranked first to fourth for each particular event are allocated positions according to their place in the final heat. Athletes ranked fifth to eighth are ranked according to their place in the small final. All remaining athletes are ranked according to the round in which they were eliminated.
Points are awarded at each Ice Cross Downhill World Championship event; from 1,000 points, for 1st place, down to 0.5 points, for 100th place. The points obtained at all four races are then added together after the final event to determine the winner of the 2014 World Championship. Every race counts.
The format is simple, the racing fierce. Anyone who has aspirations of becoming the Ice Cross Downhill World Champion will have to prove himself against some of the best skaters in the world in front of tens of thousands of spectators.