MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Long before the competitors race down the icy track of the Red Bull Crashed Ice race course, the work to get there is less exciting.
Building the quarter-mile track is a time consuming, 24-day process. Add in subzero temperatures and it’s not a cushy construction job.
“The guys are getting put to the test, right now, with this colder weather. But it’s Minnesota,” Red Bull Crashed Ice Team USA coach Charlie Wasley said.
Taking a break because of the cold weather is just not an option. The course is built from scratch, so every day, every hour, is crucial to make sure the work is done in time.
“It’s not so bad as you think because they’re moving around,” Wasley said. They’re getting it done.”
If building the track has its challenges, racing down it won’t be much easier.
“It’s really cool to start to see this track take shape,” Crashed Ice competitor and Team USA captain Cameron Naasz said.
Competitors like Naasz will have to rethink strategy due to changes in this year’s course.
“This year, they’re making it short and not as much speed, but there are a lot more obstacles and technical areas where riders can make mistakes,” Naasz said.
As he watches the workers weathering the deep freeze, Naasz won’t make the mistake of misjudging winter’s impact during the competition.
“It’s been like this in years past,” Naasz said.
On race day, it could be the one advantage for a Minnesotan who’s used this state’s toughest temperatures.
“I’m prepared for it and will be more prepared than others who will arrive that Wednesday. It’s going to be a shock to them,” Naasz said.
Red Bull’s Crashed Ice runs Jan. 22-24 near the St. Paul Cathedral.