Crashed Ice Rider's Cup takes place despite warm weather - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Crashed Ice Rider's Cup takes place despite warm weather

 HASTINGS, Minn. (KTTC) -- The very first Red Bull Crashed Ice Rider's Cup occurred on Sunday at Afton Alps, but warmer temperatures may have led to a bit of a problem on the slopes.

 Downhill ice cross skaters were flying down the custom-made course at over 40 miles per hour, but the sun took its toll on the track by the late afternoon. The event ended up being delayed for four hours while the track refroze.

The Rider's Cup featured athletes from a variety of nations, including local product Kirk Thornton of Rochester. Thornton, who was racing in his first competitive race, said the event was fun, but the sun did make for a dangerous course.

"The track got a little slushy, a little soft in some spots," said Thornton. "People were breaking through the ice and that was causing some people to stick their skates and trip themselves."

The Rider's Cup was the brainchild of internationally ranked downhill ice cross skater Reed Whiting, a Rochester native who planned the event and designed the course. Despite the setbacks, he says it was a special feeling to see his vision come to life.

"I was watching it and almost pinching myself thinking 'is this really true?'" said Whiting. "A bunch of riders and myself have dreamed of this, having events like this here in Minnesota, and to see it finally happen...I'm just overjoyed."

This event was a qualifier for a larger event of its kind taking place in St. Paul next weekend.

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