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VIDEO: Ice Cross Downhill World Championship

Monday 3 Dec 2012 12:01 p.m.

There was plenty of interest in the opening round of the 2012/13 Ice Cross Downhill World Championship held next to the Niagra Falls on the US-Canada border.

The event is a no-holds barred, frenetic downhill ice-skating race in which heavy crashes are as frequent as the famous hockey players seen in the crowd.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf was impressed by what he saw.

"I think this sport is a great sport to watch live, I have watched it before on TV," he says. "But you have new respect for the athletes when you watch it live. It is a very fast sport. You get to see the height of the jumps they go off. It's just a great sport to watch live and I'm really enjoying the experience."

The race was won by defending champion Kyle Croxall, a Canadian firefighter, who managed to slip into first with only two corners to go.

"It was a really close race, most of the ones were tonight everyone is improving a lot and the tracks were getting a little tighter," said Croxall. "It was a tough night."

The next event is in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Results: 1. Kyle Croxall (CAN), 2. Cameron Naasz (USA), 3. Kilian Braun (SUI), 4. Adam Horst (CAN), 5. Paavo Klintrup (FIN), 6. Derek Wedge (SUI), 7. Martin Niefnecker (GER), 8. Marco Dellago (AUT).

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