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March 20, 2014 | 6:35pm ET
Crashed Ice takes over Quebec City
 Red Bull Crashed Ice is evolving into a serious sport with worldwide attention.
 

QUEBEC CITY, QC -- For the second year in-a-row, I have the opportunity to cover one of the most unique on-ice sporting events around.

The Ice Cross Downhill Championship Tour makes its fourth and final stop in Quebec City this weekend, after three races in Helsinki, Finland, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Moscow, Russia.

Hundreds of athletes will be competing for a podium finish in Quebec City, as it hosts its ninth consecutive season finale.

I've heard about this event for years, but only had the opportunity to cover it once.

Last year, I saw first-hand what all the hype was about. It's an incredible event, and it takes plenty of guts to skate down a track filled with crazy drops, steps and hairpin turns.

The Red Bull Crashed Ice circuit brings hundreds of thousands of fans to the city, and Canadian favorites Kyle and Scott Croxall are in tough to reclaim the podium this year.

Here are 7 things you need to know about this year's event:

New Track, New Location
This year's course in Quebec City features a completely new redesigned urban ice track built in a location that it hasn't landed on since 2006. Stretching 480 metres from top to bottom and averaging 15 feet wide, it is the longest track of the series and will showcase skaters' strength, speed, and technique like never before.

Strategy is Key
The racers need to be smart when they tackle this track. As soon as the whistle blows, competitors will storm across the start line at the Tourny Fountain. They'll fight to keep their speed as they charge over the "Parliament Floater" and approach the striking five-meter climb of the "Stone Wall Step Up." There is also a dizzying 90-degree turn that promises to give athletes a fight for their balance.

Canadians are all over this
This year, more than 4,500 Canadians registered for the chance to compete at one of 12 Red Bull Crashed Ice Qualifier events across Canada. The top 100 men and 24 women from all Qualifiers across the country earned spots in the season finale in Quebec City.

Don't forget the ladies Quebec City's World Championship stop features the only women's race on the international Red Bull Crashed Ice circuit. The 2014 season saw a surge of hundreds of amateur female Canadian athletes registering to compete in the Qualifiers. In the end, only 24 lucky women earned the chance to fight for icy glory.

The Team Challenge
There's no "I" in "team." Racers join forces and the top 16 teams will advance to the Team Challenge finals in Quebec City.

The Rookie Track
For the first time, Videotron Mobile and Kijiji have invited rookie daredevils to try the Red Bull Crashed Ice 'Rookie Track.'. The course is open to the public and measures 95 meters long.

Multi-talented Athletes
Athletes competing in Red Bull Crashed Ice must have a skill set that applies to a combination of hockey, boardercross, and downhill skiing.

Catch all the live action on March 22 on Rogers Sportsnet at 8:30pm EST and on TVA at 8:20pm EST.

Fans around the world can also tune into the event's live streaming on redbullcrashedice.com, redbull.tv, and the Red Bull TV app via Apple TV, and check local listings for those outside of Canada.

GIVEAWAY: If you're attending this year's Red Bull Crashed Ice in Quebec City and want tickets for the exclusive After Party, here's your chance!

TFP is giving away two (2) free tickets to the Official After Party. It's very easy. Email Us your full name and hometown city, and we will randomly draw one lucky winner. The winner will be contacted via email in the afternoon of Saturday, March 22, to collect the two tickets.

David Pagnotta is the Editor-in-Chief of The Fourth Period Magazine. Follow him on Twitter.
 

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