Red Bull Crashed Ice goes to CanadaAndrew and Danny Bergeson are going to Quebec City for the final leg of the 2012 Red Bull Crashed Ice beginning Thursday and running through Saturday, but not as the same athletes that competed at Crashed Ice Saint Paul in January.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Andrew and Danny Bergeson are going to Quebec City for the final leg of the 2012 Red Bull Crashed Ice beginning Thursday and running through Saturday, but not as the same athletes that competed at Crashed Ice Saint Paul in January.
“Going into St. Paul, we were both pretty scared and nervous after looking at the track,” Danny said. “Now, after skating the second time around, the fear is totally gone. There wasn’t even an element of it.”
The first races in St. Paul, Valkenburg, Netherlands and Are, Sweden, came with a learning curve. Both brothers fell on multiple occasions but each race is becoming easier, Andrew said.
“I’m just about a thousand times more comfortable doing the sport,” Andrew said. “It’s becoming a lot more natural to me. It’s really becoming a sport I consider myself an athlete in.”
Andrew said he can finally focus on the details of ice cross downhill. He said he is working on using his size to box out other competitors like Canada’s Kyle Croxall.
“He just takes up the whole track,” Andrew said. “He does a really good job of making himself big. I took a page out of his book.
“It definitely worked; I knew where people were going to try to pass me. I knew if I could stay on my feet nobody would pass me. It was cool having that feeling being in first place.”
Andrew won his first race in Are, Feb. 17 despite being seeded last. During the race, he said he was able to get a comfortable lead and keep his balance. Andrew also found himself out front in the next race but took a jump too hard and fell, he said. Despite his continuing improvement, he said he had a chance to go even farther.
“After that first race I had a ton of confidence,” Andrew said. “In St. Paul I just felt lucky to be moving on. In Are, I was just ready to race anybody you could throw at me.”
Danny came in 43rd place after falling in the round of 64. It wasn’t the finish he’d hoped for but Danny said he is soaking in every moment.
“I’m just living the dream right now,” Danny said. “Enjoying it as much as I can. I take it for what it’s worth, it’s a once in a lifetime deal.”
Andrew is currently ranked 40th in the World Championship standings with two top-32 finishes. After missing Valkenburg, Danny is in 62nd place.
Team USA is in sixth place overall with 928 points while Canada leads the pack with 5,630 points. A Canadian has finished first in all three races.
As the Americans continue to improve, Andrew said the goals are shifting. It’s no longer good enough to simply race with the best, now they want to win, he said.
“It’s crazy how your expectations can change so quickly,” Andrew Bergeson said. “We’re not happy with being one of the bottom teams. We want to be one of the best teams out there … I was honestly disappointed I didn’t get first place.”
Danny said the raised expectations are warranted. In a sport where even the top skaters crash, a member of Team USA has a shot to make it to the podium in the final race of the year, he said. Croxall, ranked first in the individual standings, was eliminated in the quarterfinals in Are.
“Even the best guy in the world could take a fall,” Danny said. “Anything can happen in Canada, especially an American winning it. That’s definitely a possibility.”
Team USA will take part in the knockout rounds Friday and a live webcast streaming the finals Saturday can be found on Red Bull’s Crashed Ice website from 7:30-9 p.m.