The Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA) is seeking an experienced Snowboard Cross Wax Technician with a passion for high performance and organisational excellence.
Travelling with the Australian Snowboard Cross World Cup Team, the Wax Technician will assist athletes to achieve medal performances at major international competitions including World Championships and Olympic Winter Games.
The appointed candidate will:
• Provide high level equipment preparation and management services
• Attend all training/competition activity
• Put together and conduct a comprehensive grinding, glide testing and wax testing program
• Provide athlete education regarding board technology & equipment
• Assist the Head Coach and Technical Coach with program operations
The successful applicant will have the ability to meet competing demands through prioritisation in a results oriented environment and be able to work at a high intensity with a strong self-driven work ethic.
For further information, please contact Ben Wordsworth + 61 411 559 554 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Candidates should submit their application letter and CV to email@example.com no later than 1st June 2018.
With the penultimate Snowboard Cross individual World Cup and team event completed in Moscow, Russia over the weekend, Alex Chumpy Pullin has strengthened his position in third on the World Cup Standings after finishing 8th and is currently on 5,016 points behind Pierre Vaultier (FRA) and Alessandro Haemmerle (AUT).
Finishing in 11th in the Moscow World Cup was Adam Lambert who now looks to be safely inside the top ten in the World Standings on 2472.20 points.
Together, Pullin and Lambert rode in the SBX team event, placing 13th, again picking up valuable points.
The FIS SBX World Cup tour will continue next weekend in Switzerland, where Veysonnaz is set to host the season's finals with an individual and a team event race from 16 to 18 March.
PyeongChang is over but the Snowboard Cross World Cup circuit still has races to run in the 2017/18 season with La Molina in Spain hosting the tenth out of twelve Cups up for grabs last weekend.
Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin was the best performed athlete featuring again in the final eight riders after placing second in qualifying, ending up in eighth overall in an event plagued by gusty winds, requiring pump track-like riding technique.
“Pretty windy here in Spain,” Pullin said after qualifying. “Qualified in 2nd and looking forward to racing finals today if we get the green light.”
Adam Dickson had one of his two-best events of his season, equalling his career best 12th place from Cerro Catedral, Argentina last September.
Adam Lambert finished 14th, whilst Matt Thomas (33rd) and Josh Miller (45th) did not qualify in the top 32.
Cam Bolton, who is recovering from a wrist injury incurred at PyeongChang did not compete, nor did PyeongChang silver medallist Jarryd Hughes.
Austrian Alessandro Haemmerle headed up a national one-two on the men’s podium with his team mate Hanno Douschan taking silver.
After La Molina, Pullin is sitting in third place on the overall World Cup standings with 4,696 points behind Alessandro Haemmerle (AUT) on 4,840 points and leader Pierre Vaultier from France on 6,520 points.
Adam Lambert is currently in 10th on the World Cup Standings and Jarryd Hughes 11th.
The SBX World Cup tour will continue next weekend with an in-city race staged in Moscow on 18 March.
PYEONGCHANG 2018: Snowboard Cross silver medallist Jarryd Hughes will have the honour of carrying the flag and leading the 2018 Australian Olympic Team into the PyeongChang Closing Ceremony, as the world closes the Games of the 23rd Olympiad.
The 22-year-old Sydney-sider said being selected by Chef de MissIon, Ian Chesterman to fly the flag on behalf of the Australian Team was a huge honour.
“I am so excited to be chosen to be the Flagbearer for the Closing Ceremony, it’s hard to put into words,” Hughes said.
“It is the cherry on top of what has been the most amazing Olympic campaign and I am so proud to lead out this group of Australian athletes who have all been both an inspiration to me and the entire country throughout the Games.”
The Dual Olympian was one of three Australian medallists at the 2018 Games and has continued to lead the Team spirit and camaraderie post-competition.
“The bond between the Australian Team at these Games has been phenomenal. We have all been supporting one another and doing our best to show the world how proud we are to be Aussie Winter athletes.”
“The Closing Ceremony will be an awesome celebration of the hard work and dedication we’ve all put in over the past four years. To be able to lead my teammates is incredible.”
Hughes claimed his first Olympic medal, a silver at Phoenix Snow Park on Day 6 of the Games, with France’s Pierre Vauliter claiming gold and Regino Hernandez securing bronze for Spain.
“I still can’t quite believe I am an Olympic silver medallist. I’m sure it’s going to take a little while to sink in.”
“It’s a huge inspiration to keep pushing towards my, hopefully, third Olympic Games in Beijing 2022.”
After finishing 17th in his Olympic debut at Sochi 2014, Hughes went on to claim a gold medal at the 2016 X-Games and now has his greatest achievement to date.
“I’m so excited about this Olympic medal. I can’t wait to go home and share it with all of my friends and family.”
Joining Hughes on the Olympic podium was Matt Graham who claimed a silver medal in the men’s moguls, as well as Opening Ceremony flag bearer, Scotty James who secured bronze in the men’s snowboard halfpipe.
51 Athletes from 10 winter sports have all come together for the 2018 Games, supporting one another in a true display of team culture.
“I think the AOC has worked really hard this time around on focusing on a team environment, as well as high performance.
“I feel like I’m coming away from these Games with so many new friends and I am as proud of their accomplishments as I am my own.”
The Australian contingent will be one of the 91 nations marching into the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Stadium on Sunday night (AEDT), concluding what has been an exciting action-packed Winter Olympic Games.
The Closing Ceremony starts at 10pm AEDT and will be available to watch, live and free on Channel 7.
Dual Olympian Jarryd Hughes has won silver in the men's Snowboard Cross final at Phoenix Park.
The 22-year-old finished just behind Sochi 2014 gold medallist and current World Champion Pierre Vaultier (France) and was joined on the podium by Spain's Regino Hernandez who took bronze.
"As long as I'm enjoying it and having fun, more results like this are going to come along," Hughes said.
"The want to do well and my family, I couldn't have done any of this without my mum and dad. They've been amazing and I don't think I can thank them enough.
"I've been very fortunate to work with a lot of great people around the Olympics and the last few days I've been sitting there chatting with Alyce Burnett who's a kayaking Olympian and we've been able to chat about stuff and just kind of get my mind off it and not be too focussed so it's been really cool."
After a total of five knee surgeries since 2013, the Sydneysider said while it's been "rough" and "a long process" he was "just happy to be here".
Hughes was left speechless whaen asked how it felt to be an Olympic silver medallist.
"I'll have come back to you," he joked.
Following a crash during the medal run, dual World Champion and triple Olympian Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin finished in sixth place -- his best Olympic result to date.
"It was a real shame but I didn't want to walk away today with any regrets and I was going for the gold," he said.
"Once I made the final I wanted to win here and really give it a shot ... I walk away happy to have really put myself in with a chance today, no regrets."
The 30-year-old added that he was "stoked" for the Australian team having three riders in the top 12 and a silver medal.
"[It's] pretty cool to see a fellow Aussie in the final and even riding through some heats with Cam earlier was really awesome too," he said.
"To me, I don't really see it as a big four year cycle. I love my snowboarding, I love my racing but I really treat it year-by-year and analysing how each event goes. The fact that I'm 30-years-old and walked away from the biggest flat ladning I've had is pretty impressive to me."
Sochi Olympian Cam Bolton finished tenth, placing fourth in the Small Final after a crash in the semi final saw him injure his wrist and narrowly miss out on joining Hughes and Pullin in the Super Final.
The 27-year-old said while it was "disappointing to go out in that semi final" he was glad to be "able to get back out of the gate and secure that top ten spot."
"I'm proud of that even though it wasn't what I was aiming for," he said.
"It looks like I've torn some tendons or ligaments in the back of my elbow. We got it all splintered up and I was able to pull out of that last gate with my whole arm being still."
On his teammate's silver, Bolton said that it was an "incredible" result for Australia and the boardercross program.
"A great result for Jarryd, [he's] riding really strongly," he added.
Earlier, Olympic rookie Adam Lambert narrowly missed out on progressing through to the quarter finals after being caught up in a crash in the eighth finals, finishing just outside the top three in fourth place.
"I really wanted to do well here, I felt like I was riding the course super well but it's racing and things happen, sometimes they're out of your control," he said.
"I'll take the experience away, I'm an Olympian now which is awesome and I'll come back in four years time and race in Beijing and hopefully go for gold there instead of here."
The 19-year-old added that his Olympic experience had "been a lot different to what I expected".
"All the races I've had leading up to this have been on a way smaller scale," he said.
"It's so awesome to just be here but it's so different to what I'm used to and to at least have that experience moving forward it's a great time and I'm glad I could come."
In the morning, Hughes beat Vaultier to finish first in his eighth final, while Bolton and Pullin both finished second in their respective heats.
With all three Aussies competing in same semifinal, the pressure was on to secure a top three result for the Big Final.
Pullin was first across the line with Hughes in a close second and Vaultier securing the final spot in the medal run.
For the first time since last year’s test event, Australia’s boardercross athletes were back on the Phoenix Park Snowboard Cross course today as they gear up to compete later this week.
Set to make his third Olympic appearance at PyeongChang, dual World Champion Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin said that apart from the unpredictable weather during Tuesday’s training session, “the layout was really good”.
“It was good, there’s been a little bit of wind around lately so that’s meant the speeds were different and the features can be different from one run to the next,” he said.
“I got a pretty good feeling in the track for day one and I’m looking forward to tomorrow, I think I’ll make a few small tweaks, analyse the weather a little bit mostly and see what sort of strategies I’ll start to toy with.”
While the forecast for Thursday’s event shows that the gusty conditions at Phoenix Park are set to subside, Pullin said that he’ll be spending the next few days analysing the weather and toying with new strategies as it’s “traditionally a very windy place”.
“It makes it a little bit more tricky with the tactics that you choose to play with,” he said.
“I’m going to have to be pretty flexible with my strategy.”
The 30-year-old said that the vibes so far in PyeongChang “have been really good”, remarking that the excitement and energy exuding from the volunteers was similar to the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.
On his teammate and Olympic debutant Adam Lambert, Pullin said that it’s been great “watching him progress so strongly”.
“The last year and a half has been really good, just getting used to working with each other’s strengths and then, in this situation for sure, just giving him a few heads up,” he said.
“Cam and Adam are riding really well.”
Fellow teammate and Sochi 2014 Olympian Jarryd Hughes, who is set to make his second Olympic debut at PyeongChang, said his first training session on Tuesday “was great”.
“Nick Roma has built a great track and it’s a lot of fun to ride,” he said.
“The track is built really well but it’s going to be very wind dependant as it’s an open track.”
The 22-year-old, who won gold at the Snowboard Cross World Cup in Montafon, Austria last December, said that he was “really happy to get a lot of really solid runs down”.
“I’m excited to compete, but at the moment I’m just ready for the first race to begin,” he said.
Sochi 2014 Olympian Belle Brockhoff was also on the course today less than two weeks finishing in the top 10 at the final pre-Olympic Snowboard Cross World Cup in Feldberg, Germany.
“It’s awesome, she’s made it just in the nick of time and it’s great to see her reach the Games,” Pullin said.
“It would’ve been pretty heart crushing not to see her get here. It’s awesome, it’s great to have her around [and] pretty cool that we’ve got the crew back together.”
The Australian men will take to the snowboard cross track on Day 6 (February 15) of the PyeongChang 2018 Games at the Bokwang Phoenix Park while Brockhoff, the Australian team’s only female boardercross rider, will compete on Day 7.
SNOWBOARD CROSS: Sochi 2014 Olympian Belle Brockhoff has made her return to the mountain after a turbulent 11 months finishing 8th at the final pre-Olympic Snowboard Cross World Cup in Feldberg, Germany.
The 25-year-old, whose original plan was to “compete in just the time trials and maybe do one round of heats,” finished third in Sunday’s qualification runs before progressing through to the Small Final.
Having recently received medical clearance to compete in PyeongChang 2018, Brockhoff said it was “good to be doing the sport I love again.”
“It felt really good to be back, laid down a solid time trial even with a few mistakes than in training,” she said.
“I wanted to do a few heats to get back into the swing of things and got into the Small Final. Took a really hard landing during the first heat which flared up my knee a bit but wanted to push through the pain.
“I know I didn’t have an excuse to not be in the Big Final by looking at the way I was riding but I’m really happy regardless with where I’m at.
“I haven’t raced in 11 months so I really needed to get this under my belt. It gave me a lot more confidence with my riding but I do have a lot of hard work to do.”
In the men’s event, Brockhoff’s fellow Olympic teammates Jarryd Hughes and Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin also managed to secure top ten results.
Hughes, who will be competing in his second Winter Games, finished the second day of competition in six place and said that he “couldn’t be more excited” to be heading to Korea.
“I was able to carry some speed through heats and then got to work on my starts which was huge,” he said.
“I definitely improved throughout the day and in the Small Final got to practice some passing and get some battles happening which is good heading into Korea.
“I’m feeling great and have really benefited from a lot of help from dual Olympic Champion Seth Westcott (USA) so that’s been a huge help both for my performance and my confidence.”
Pullin, who is set to make his third Olympic appearance in PyeongChang, finished ninth and currently sits in second place on the World Cup standings behind long-time rival Pierre Vaultier (France).
Improving on their results from the opening day of racing, Cam Bolton finished 14th while Olympic debutant Adam Lambert ranked 19th.
Fellow Aussies Matthew Thomas and Josh Miller were unable to qualify for the eighth finals, finishing 38th and 40th respectively.
The Australian men will take to the snowboard cross track on Day 6 (February 15) of the PyeongChang 2018 Games at the Bokwang Phoenix Park while Brockhoff, the Australian team’s only female boardercross rider, will compete on Day 7.
SNOWBOARD CROSS: Just five days out from the Opening Ceremony of PyeongChang 2018, Australia’s Snowboard Cross athletes have competed in one of their last pre-Olympic World Cups in Feldberg, Germany.
Dual World Champion Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, who is set to make his third Olympic appearance in Korea, ranked 9th on the first of two days of racing after finishing third in his quarter-final run behind Canada’s Kevin Hill and Germany’s Martin Noerl.
Unable to qualify for the quarter-finals after finishing outside the top two in their eighth finals, Sochi Olympians Cam Bolton and Jarryd Hughes ranked 22nd and 27th respectively.
Olympic debutant Adam Lambert finished the opening day in 33rd place with a best time of 40.48 while fellow Aussie Josh Miller was 0.03 seconds behind in 34th and Matt Thomas in 38th.
Sochi 2014 Olympian Belle Brockhoff, who recently received medical clearance to compete in the women’s event at PyeongChang 2018, will compete in a modified World Cup program in Feldberg.
“I have a plan in place to compete in just the time trials and maybe do one round of heats in the second World Cup here since we want it to be a smooth introduction back to sport,” Brockhoff previously said.
“I’ve had a week on snow prior and got my confidence back. I’m really pushing it on my board so my knee can get used to the feeling.”
Day 2 of the Feldberg World Cup kicks off on Sunday 4th February with qualifications beginning at 19:00 (AEDT). For live results on the Aussies click HERE.
The Australian men will take to the snowboard cross track on Day 6 (February 15) of the PyeongChang 2018 Games at the Bokwang Phoenix Park while Brockhoff, the Australian team’s only female boardercross rider, will compete on Day 7.
SNOWBOARD CROSS: Sochi 2014 Olympian Belle Brockhoff has been cleared to compete in the women’s snowboard cross event at PyeongChang 2018, after her initial selection was subject to medical clearance.
The Melbourne-native has had a rollercoaster twelve months of injury including a crash in early December that forced her to have surgery on her ACL less than two months out from Games.
The 25-year-old is relieved that she’ll be taking the start line on Day 7 of the Winter Games, saying she was “really happy” to pass the medical test.
“I was a bit nervous about the injury given that it was an ultimatum - either pass the test or go home and start over,” Brockhoff said, after acknowledging her recovery window post-surgery would be very short.
“I didn’t have a lot of time either so I was starting to feel the pressure but didn’t allow myself to crack. I just kept on believing in myself and telling myself it’s all mental.”
Brockhoff is now in Feldberg, Germany set to compete in a modified World Cup program before the 2018 Games kick off.
“I have a plan in place to compete in just the time trials and maybe do one round of heats in the second World Cup here since we want it to be a smooth introduction back to sport,” Brockhoff said.
“I’ve had a week on snow prior and got my confidence back. I’m really pushing it on my board so my knee can get used to the feeling.”
Brockhoff said she would not have got through her recovery period without her support team who have been helping her in every way possible so that she can compete in her second Olympic campaign.
“It has all been an awesome mental test that I’m really stoked about.
“It’s given me a whole new level of self-belief and knowing that no matter how many times life beats you down, you can get back up.”
Brockhoff will compete on February 16 where the top 30 female boardercross riders in the world will all vie for a chance to call themselves an Olympic Champion.
Australia's quartet of 2018 Olympic male snowboard cross athletes have had their second last dress rehearsal before PyeongChang 2018, taking on the final pre-Games World Cup in Bankso, Bulgaria.
Dual Olympian Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin was the top finisher of the Australians with a 5th place in the final, just weeks before the 30-year-old is set to compete at his third Olympic Games.
Sochi 2014 Olympian and 2018 Team member, Cameron Bolton qualifed through to the small final where a 3rd place finish saw the 27-year-old record a 9th place finish. The result was a season best for Bolton and his top finish since December 2015.
"I was happy with the race overall. I was having some trouble in the start section and I was pleased to make the necessary adjustments and lead both the small final and semi final," Bolton said.
"The race was a step in the right direction and i'm looking to keep building momentum at the next two world cups, leading into the Olympics.
"Bansko put on a great event and Bulgaria is my favourite stop on tour. It's an amazing place."
Despite being the 14th fastest qualifier, Olympic debutant Adam Lambert was disappointed with his Bulgaria World Cup, with the 20-year-old finishing 6th in his 1/8 heat and not advancing to the next round. Lambert ended the competition with a 41st place finish.
Fellow Australian rider Matthew Thomas finished in 22nd.
Sochi 2014 Olympian, Jarryd Hughes recorded the fastest qualification time in his second run heading into the finals but a crash in the initial time trial forced him to withdrawn from the event to be on the safe side.
"I messed up a jump in a time trial and ended up landing 30m further down the course than I intended and had nothing to land on," Hughes said.
"I suffered a bit of bone bruising in the process and decided it was best not to compete this close to the Olympics."
This week's World Cup sees the Australians all sit in the top 20 on the world rankings heading into the Olympic Games with Pullin in 2nd, Lambert in 7th, Hughes in 12th and Bolton in 18th.
Men's snowboard cross will be held on Day 7 (February 15) at the 2018 Olympics, with the top 40 competitiors in the world all vying for a top spot on the podium.
SNOWBOARD CROSS: Five Australian athletes will hope to be the fastest down the mountain in the snowboard cross events at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, as four men and one women are selected to don the green and gold.
In the men’s event, dual World Champion Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin is set to make his third Olympic appearance, joined by Sochi 2014 duo Jarryd Hughes and Cameron Bolton. Olympic debutant Adam Lambert will round out the full Australian men’s contingent in his first Games appearance.
In the women’s event, Belle Brockhoff will hope to fly the Australian flag, pending medical clearance, after a turbulent 12 months of injury proved to be a tough path to her second Olympic campaign.
The veteran of the sport, Chumpy Pullin will embark on his third Olympic campaign after representing Australia at the Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 Games.
"I'm really happy to be headed to my 3rd Olympics. I have had a really fun season on the World Cup tour so far and happy to be coming into the games feeling good," Pullin said.
Pullin won Australia’s first snowboard cross World Championship title in 2011 and went on to create more history by defending his title in 2013. The 30-year-old is Australia’s most successful boardercross athlete on the World Cup circuit with 20 podium finishes, nine of those in the top spot from 73 races, but Pullin still marks the Olympics as the most important date on his competition calendar.
"Every year I get to compete against the best in our sport, in places all around the world, which really is what I do it for. But when the opportunity of the Olympics comes around, its certainly one I want to be sure im in my best form to make the most of it.
"All the same guys I race all year, but theres an atmosphere at the games like no other event. Not to mention a lot of people who get to watch on free to air at home in Aus. It just ads to the excitement of competing and I'm happy to go experience that again."
Pullin said at the past two Olympic Games in his career have been vastly different and he is looking forward to what the South Korean city has to offer.
"It will be fun to see how South Korea is and how the track rides. When it comes time, I aim to be ready and have a good time doing what I love in front of the biggest crowd we see in our careers."
22-year-old Jarryd Hughes said he was excited to be selected in his second Australian Olympic Team.
“I’m feeling like I’m in a really good spot right now and have had a heap of help from some amazing people and I’m looking forward to displaying all the new skills I’ve learnt,” Hughes said.
Hughes finished 14th in his Olympic debut at the Sochi 2014 Games, but has continued to improve over the past four years taking out the 2016 X-Games over teammate Pullin and securing two World Cup victories in 2017.
Victorian Cameron Bolton echoed Hughes’ thoughts, grateful for the opportunity to represent Australia on yet another Olympic stage.
“I can't wait for another opportunity to do my favourite thing in the world in front of our largest audience yet,” Bolton said.
“This Olympics will be another rollercoaster ride, and I'm looking forward to strapping myself in and taking it all on.”
Bolton was Australia’s top finisher in the boardercross event in Russia in 11th place. The 27-year-old secured his career best result in December 2015 with a World Cup fourth place at Montafon, Austria.
The only rookie in the quartet, 20-year-old Adam Lambert proved he was hungry for Olympic qualification when he secured a World Cup silver medal in December 2017 after only one season on the circuit.
“I'm really excited to get the nomination, the Olympics is the event that everyone wants to participate in and I've been working hard to solidify my spot. I feel like I'm well prepared, ready to compete and show Australia and the world what I've got,” Lambert said.
The Jindabyne athlete burst onto the international stage when he finished 7th in his second World Cup of his career. The youngster then went on to finish 6th at his first World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
Belle Brockhoff will join the boys, racing in the women’s event on Day 7 (February 16) of the 2018 Games, despite having endured an injury rollercoaster over the past year. The 25-year-old competed at the Sochi Games where she finished as the top Australian competitor in 8th place.
The Victorian has competed in 33 World Cup since her international debut in 2012, with three gold, three silver and one bronze to her name.
The Australian men will take to the snowboard cross track on Day 6 (February 15) of the PyeongChang 2018 Games at the Bokwang Phoenix Park.
The selection of athletes in the men's snowboard cross event is currently subject to an appeal. It should be noted that any appeal is on the basis of non-selection of an athlete and not an appeal against an individual who has been selected.
Find out more about the snowboard at the 2018 Olympic Games HERE.
After electing to skip the last Olympic qualifying World Cup in Turkey last week for more training in Whistler, Canada, Jarryd Hughes will rejoin the Aussie contingent for two more World Cups in Bankso, Bulgaria and Feldberg, Germany over the next two weekends before the Games begin in PyeongChang.
“I’m in Whistler for the first time. It’s pretty fun,” he said last week. “I’ve been here since December 24th with my coaches. It’s just about being here to do what I need to do without distractions.”
Hughes, who won the Montafon World Cup in December, has had a productive time in Canada ahead of the next round of events.
“At Montafon it was good to finally put another win the column and walk away with a W – that’s just a side piece at the moment and going towards my confidence into the Games.”
“It was good to have my whole team there and work on a few crucial points, crucial points.”
Feeling “healthy, strong and ready”, Hughes says he is looking at the courses in Bansko and Feldberg as an important lead up for different reasons.
“We’ve only had two actual world cup courses this year in Argentina and Montafon with a World Cup standard course. The other two have not really been up to scratch,” he said.
“Bansko is more of a sprint event, which isn’t really the crucial performance event for me and not a course that will be anything like we are going to race (in PyeongChang). It’s more to get the team altogether again and touching on finer details.”
“Feldberg will be good to go back after having a strong result there with a podium last year and it was good to work on passing last year after not being where I wanted to be at the start. It’s really cool to work on the passing in that event and good practice going towards the Olympics.”
“The course in PyeongChang will be 1.20minutes. That’s good for certain people."
The Sochi Olympian, who was just 18-years-old at the time has fond memories of the Opening Ceremony.
“It was really cool to walk out with my friends that I’d done training with and take in the whole Olympic experience,” he recalled. “And, really cool to facetime my parents during the Opening Ceremony. It was as much their opening ceremony as it was mine. They basically walked around with me.”
The Bansko Snowboard Cross World Cup will be contested this Saturday, January 27. Feldberg on February 4.
Currently leading the World Cup standings is Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin. Adam Lambert is 6th, Jarryd Hughes 10th and Cam Bolton 21st. Also at the starting gate are NSWIS riders Matt Thomas (28th), Josh Miller (32nd) and Adam Dickson (41st).
Ezurum proved to be challenging for the first ever Snowboard Cross World Cup held in Turkey last weekend.After an unusual trip to the picturesque ski resort that required a detour through the mountains, the weather did not cooperate requiring the cancellation of training and qualifications.
Racing went directly to finals without the riders having the opportunity to train on the course and whilst the Aussies put on a good show with five of the six-man squad making it through the heats, the best result came from Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin placing fourth in the small final and eighth overall.
Pullin retained his leader’s yellow bib and overall number one world ranking, now sitting on 3,346 points.
“Chumpy feels pretty positive about the result, more just keeping his points up to stay with the yellow bib” coach Ben Wordsworth said.
Adam Lambert made it to the semi-final finishing overall in 13th, Matt Thomas 22nd, Cam Bolton 28th, Josh Miller 29th and Adam Dickson 38th.
Cam Bolton had been looking to build on his previous tenth place in Italy.
“I had OK result in Italy and was looking forward to building on that for Korea,” Bolton said.
“It was so windy (in Erzurum). Today was the first time that I even went to the top of the course because there was so much snow and wind. It was about who picked up the course the quickest today would be rewarded.”
“The start section was tricky because the first feature was changing because of the soft snow, so, how you rode it completely changed.”
“In the heats I started strongly in the start section. Then I was having a tough time of the heat.
In the second heat I got sucked behind and couldn’t make the pass I was planning on making.”
Getting to Erzurum was problematic after the plane that was carrying many of the SBX World Cup tour athletes was diverted to another airport near the Syrian border.
“It’s been a crazy trip so far and definitely made it a very interesting four or five days. Our flight was delayed and we couldn’t land (near Erzurum) but flew further south near the Syrian border. Then we were all on a bus and had a military escort through the mountains.”
The Australians found an upside in the situation. For Adam Lambert, making another semi in adverse conditions is a plus for the 20-year-old.
“Erzurum was definitely interesting. I’ve never done a World Cup and not done a qualification because of weather. They (the Turkish resort) put on a pretty decent show though,” Lambert said.
“Racing was alright. I did the best I could and put out the runs and ended up 13th.”
“Got a poor start in the quarters but tried my best to get through that heat. The track was a bit small and you do what you can do.”
“I’m happy that I got to the quarters again. That makes it every quarters this year. That’s pretty good.”
The Erzurum World Cup was the final race for Olympic qualification. Selection of the four male Snowboard Cross to the Australian Olympic Team is expected this week.
There are more events on the calendar before Pyeongchang and that’s the focus for the SBX team as they head to Bankso, Bulgaria for the next World Cup on January 27th and then to Germany for another event immediately prior to Korea.
There’s a quality about Jindabyne’s Adam Lambert, who Snowboard Cross head coach Ben Wordsworth described recently as “a perfect athlete”.
‘Lambo’ possesses a quiet resilience and focus on his burgeoning international career with a purpose that is laced with a willingness to learn, innate confidence in his own ability and a maturity that belies a young man just out of his teens.
“I know what I want to do and know what I have to do to get there,” Lambert said earlier this month. “It’s a matter of putting it together at the end.”
After breaking out of the Europa Cup circuit into World Cups last season, Lambert learned fast. His first World Cup result of 52nd was turned around in 24 hours to 7th in his second World Cup and ended last season with a sixth place in the World Championships.
The podium seemed not far away and that outcome was ticked off with a silver in last December at Val Thorens in France.
“It was pretty surreal,” he said of his first World Cup medal. “I’d raced on that course before and came in with a little bit of confidence. I felt it all day and made it to the finals.”
“Afterwards I was stoked. There’s always a twinge of ‘what if I’d done this’ but definitely it does heaps for my confidence knowing I can perform that well in a high-end event.”
Learning from his team mates, particularly Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, is valued by the young gun.
“Chumpy, especially, talks to me when I ask him about his path and how he got there. He tells me.”
“All the guys are fun to hang around with. They’re all really awesome blokes.”
“It helps that our sense of humour is pretty similar on the long drives we have to do every week, which is my least favourite part (the driving), but that’s OK. It’s just a really good group.”
Stepping up full-time onto the World Cup circuit has meant changes to his training, all of which he has embraced.
“The scale of training has changed. I’ve had a lot more on the courses. Before it was turns on mountains and now with these guys and the funding we have, we help organise the construction on the courses – a cost that is split with other countries.”
“Having the other guys (from OWIA) and NSWIS is great. We are all really good riders and it’s good to get out together to train. It all adds up. This is so much better.”
“This year there’s a lot more actual training time compared to last year. Last year we spent a lot of time driving from place to place. Every other day we were racing - having to squash Europa’s in. Not having to do that has knocked out about 16 races.”
“There are eight different locations that I don’t have to go to this year, which takes a lot of stress away and off my body. It’s good not to have to do that every week.”
Australia has a strong squad of riders in Snowboard Cross and only four can be selected for PyeongChang. Lambert is planning to be one of those four and already thinking about the Olympic course and how he can get the most out of the World Cup this weekend in Turkey before team selections are announced.
“It (Erzurum, Turkey) will be a good course and a copy of the Olympic start section.”
“I race my own race. I go into every race with a good plan with what I want to do and figure out the places I can consistently make passes. My tactical races are pretty good and I’m patient. I’m not rushing things.”
Coming from the NSW Snowy Mountains, Adam Lambert is not missing anything about a hot Australian summer. He is exactly where he wants to be.
“I’m a winter person. Anything above 32 degrees and I’m out.”
The Erzurum Snowboard Cross World Cup in Turkey qualifying round begin this Friday evening 6.30pm (AEDT) with finals on Saturday from 6.30pm (AEDT) and can be viewed live on Eurosport, or follow OWIA on Twitter here for updates on all the Aussies competing.
Snowboard Cross riders return to World Cup competition this weekend in the last Olympic qualifying event in Erzurum, Turkey with Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin looking to extend his comfortable lead on 3,026 points at the top of the world rankings.
The Erzurum event becomes the first ever Turkish ski resort to host a Snowboard Cross Word Cup and therefore a new venue for Australia’s strong team that includes Alex Pullin, Adam Lambert, Cam Bolton and NSWIS riders Josh Miller, Matt Thomas and Adam Dickson.
Jarryd Hughes is sitting Turkey out, electing instead to train in Whistler, Canada.
“We’ve never raced there,” Head SBX coach Ben Wordsworth said about Erzurum. “There won’t be a great deal of snow and we think the course will probably be something close to Cervinia (Italy).”
Pullin, who won double gold in Argentina at the start of the season and a bronze at Cervinia late last year, is an athlete making smart decision says Wordsworth.
“Chumpy is in a good place - a really good place. He didn’t have the results he wanted in December. He wanted to win one of the three races he had, but he managed to pull together some good results and bounced back.”
Coach and athlete have been working together for eight years, with Wordsworth seeing a positive shift in Pullin going towards PyeongChang.
“He’s an older athlete. His decision making is better now and more adaptable to all the situations and he is extremely talented.”
“He is good at reading race situations, getting into heats and coming out the other end at the final - better than what I’ve seen in the past.”
“Certainly, Chumpy is making good decisions in his racing and it shows. Argentina was back to back (gold). Val Thorens was not so great and then Cervinia (with bronze). All those decisions make the difference in the long run.”
“One of the big decisions is to stay healthy. (It’s about) racing to your potential.”
Jindabyne’s Adam ‘Lambo’ Lambert stamped his claim to a potential Olympic selection last season and has only looked forward, now currently fourth on the world leader board on 1,690 points going into Erzurum.
According to Wordsworth, Lambert has fitted into the SBX team with ease.
“Lambo’s a good snowboarder and good racer. His results have shown that over the past two seasons,” Wordsworth said.
“There was silver at Val Thorens and he knows what he wants. Lambo is in the sport to have a career and he wants to win races. That’s what drives him – there’s nothing else he’s in it for.”
“He’s the perfect athlete. He wants results and has fitted in really well - good to travel with and fits into the group. Just got on with it, got results and tried to keep it pretty simple.”
Australia is looking to qualify four men to PyeongChang and with a strong team, Turkey is the last event to cement a place – a goal that will be high on Cam Bolton’s to do list.
“It was good for Cam being in the top again (Cervinia with a tenth place),” Wordsworth said. “He’s got the skills and we want to see him push toward the small final and final and believe he can do it. It was a super close race in Cervinia.”
“Turkey is the last qualifying. The other three have an opportunity. Should be an interesting race,” he added.
Qualifiers for the Erzurum World Cup stop are on Friday, 19 January from 6.30pm (AEDT).
Finals start at 6.30pm (AEDT) on Saturday.
Live timing links for qualifiers and finals, can be found here
Follow OWIA Twitter for updates here and watch the Finals live on Eurosport from 6.30pm on Saturday, 20 January.
Revisiting an outstanding story by revered sports reporter Nicole Jeffrey that was published in The Weekend Australian on January 6.
Snowboard cross world champion Alex “Chumpy’’ Pullin is out of air. He’s lying on the bottom of a swimming pool, there’s a man standing on his chest, his lungs are screaming but he’s trying to stay calm. He’s there voluntarily, after all.
This is a training drill, one that he hopes will teach him how to keep his cool in the cauldron of Olympic competition in South Korea next month, and emerge with the gold medal that was denied him at the Sochi Games four years ago.
Pullin was the reigning world champion, world No 1, Olympic gold medal favourite and Australian flag-bearer in Sochi, but his campaign unravelled, picked apart by internal and external factors. Aside from competing in one of the most unpredictable events on the Olympic program, Pullin was wrestling with physical and mental demons in Sochi.
His confidence was dented by a less-thanperfect preparation. Some of his lead-up events were cancelled; he picked up an injury; and there were distractions of dissent and jealousies in the Australian team. Then warm conditions in the Caucasus mountains reduced the snow on the Olympic course to Mr Whippy consistency rather than the hard, fast, technical conditions in which Pullin usually thrived.
The event became a lottery and Pullin picked out No 13. A lot of soul-searching followed. The consensus was that although Pullin was the fastest, fittest, strongest rider in the field, he had not been the most adaptable to circumstance, and that had brought him undone. In the past four years he has embraced far less regimented training.
He’s still fast, fit and strong but he’s more resilient when things aren’t going his way. And most of that is down to Nam Baldwin, the Gold Coast strength and conditioning expert who trained surfing world champion Mick Fanning.
When snowboard cross head coach Ben Wordsworth brought Baldwin in to do some group training with his riders, Pullin and Baldwin clicked immediately. “Chumpy took an instant liking to him,’’ Wordsworth said.
Pullin began making pilgrimages to the Gold Coast to work with Baldwin, who employs some unusual methods to improve the strength and agility of his athletes, in both body and mind. His signature is the breath-hold exercises he has athletes do under water. His sessions also include obstacle courses of hurdles and balance boards that Pullin has to complete while dodging the balls Baldwin is throwing at his head.
“Nam has been unreal,’’ Pullin said. “We moved up to the Gold Coast for two months after Argentina (the first two World Cup events in September) to be closer to him and it was a really great thing. I have been training since I was really young and it’s refreshing to see a new challenge like that.
“We talk and discuss each training session as if it’s a competition event and we look for those one percenters in every session. “With Nam I am really challenged. I am always a little nervous before a session because I don’t know what he will throw at me.
“The pool stuff is really different, the empty lung breath holds and doing wrestling under water. It’s always really difficult to get that exact feeling of race day, to get those nerves, but that’s what Nam tries to do. He brings the physical and mental side into play.
“If I exhale and then he pushes me to the bottom of the pool and stands on my chest, it means I have to stay calm and if I do, I gain confidence.’’
Pullin showed all of that confidence at the start of the season in Argentina. He dominated the first two World Cup events there in the hard, fast conditions he loves, riding at a level above all of his rivals. But when the circuit reached Europe last month, the conditions didn’t suit him at the next race in France, where he finished sixth, and then he crashed in training in Austria, injuring his shoulder, which forced him out of the next World Cup at Montafon.
He returned at Cervinia, in Italy the week before Christmas and bounced back to the podium, finishing third.
Wordsworth says things that once would have shaken Pullin no longer do.
“Nam has been really effective in making him aware that you have to be good in every situation, not just the ones that suit you,’’ he said.
“The training they have done has really calmed him down. Now he can take in any situation, bad weather or conditions or something happening off the course, and think his way through it.
“When we did the test event in South Korea (two years ago), we had a bad event. There was a lot of wind and other variables and that was unsettling for Chumpy, but now he’s a very different athlete.’’
Pullin said the entire aim of this Olympic cycle had been to prepare him “for what you don’t see coming’’.
He now regards his Olympic flop in Sochi as “an opportunity to grow as a human being’’ and he wants to show that he has.
“If I can be there feeling 100 per cent ready and I have enjoyed getting myself there, if I can enjoy it all, I think that’s the best way to bring out my best performance,’’ he said.
“I was ranked No 1 before the last Games and I’m currently the World Cup leader and that’s where I want to be, on top.
“(Olympic gold) is the one I would love to have in my career and I am pushing as hard as I can to be as ready as I can be for the Games.’’
By NICOLE JEFFERY
Senior Sports Reporter
06 Jan 2018 Weekend Australian, Australia
Dual Olympian Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin remains on top of the World Cup Snowboard Cross rankings after winning bronze last night in Cervinia, Italy.
Pullin, who opened his season with a double gold weekend in Argentina, had retained his number 1 status despite electing not contest the finals at Montafon, Austria last week due to risky weather conditions.
Opening his Cervinia campaign in emphatic fashion and facing a large field of 79 riders, Pullin qualified in second place on his opening run, guaranteeing a top 16 seeding and entry to the 32-man final. Team mates Cam Bolton and Adam Lambert joined Pullin in the top 32 after hard racing in their second qualifying runs.
Pullin and Lambert both won their heats in the opening round of the finals and with Cam Bolton all moved through to the quarters, where Pullin again won but Lambert and Bolton were out in narrow thirds.
Experience and smart tactics in the semi delivered Pullin his third medal final of the season – an opportunity he was happy take.
“I had a good race and very happy to get a podium and continue to lead the world cup standings,” Pullin said.
“The conditions were challenging with high wind which changed the speed of the features, but I managed to keep a good rhythm and make it to the podium.”
The bronze medal win at Cervinia marks his 21st World Cup medal in an international career that began in 2007 and which has included back-to-back World Championship wins and Crystal Globes.
Cam Bolton had a return to the form and a result that he has been after for three seasons as the second highest qualifying Australian and final 10th place.
Like Bolton, Adam Lambert narrowly missed the semi-finals and finished overall in 12th.
Jarryd Hughes, who just five days ago won the Montafon World Cup, was disappointed to miss the top 32 qualifying time by 0.04 seconds, finding himself in 33rd position and out of the finals. Matthew Thomas placed 41st, Adam Dickson 52nd and Josh Miller 72nd.
The next Snowboard Cross World Cup will be contested in Ezerum, Turkey on January 19.
Despite suffering a serious knee injury last week, Snowboard Cross athlete Belle Brockhoff has declared she will do everything she can to make the start line at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
The 24-year-old suffered a bad crash in training in heavy weather conditions last week in Val Thorens, rupturing her ACL and chipping cartilage in her knee, forcing her to undergo surgery yesterday in Melbourne.
But a determined Brockhoff has said even this won’t stop her from a second Olympic campaign.
"I’m not giving up on the dream so easily," Brockhoff said.
"I will be giving it my very best to come back since I know I'll regret it if I don't."
“I feel confident I can come back for the Olympics and perform as best I can."
2018 Chef de Mission, Ian Chesterman said the entire Olympic Team is behind her decision to push ahead towards the Olympic Games.
“Whilst this is a setback, Belle is still focussed on going to PyeongChang,” Chesterman said.
“Her medical team have put a plan in place to treat the injury to give her every opportunity to compete in PyeongChang.
“Belle understands the risks involved in attempting to compete in PyeongChang but we will support her in every way possible to achieve her dream of competing at the Olympic Games next year.”
The Sochi Olympian has had an unfortunate 12 months of injury, starting with a crash at the 2017 World Championships in March, which saw her tear her ACL.
After a intense five month rehabilitation period, the Melbourne-native got back on her board in August at Mt Buller, hoping to kick start her 2018 Olympic campaign.
"I know I have the support of my family, the OWI and the Australian Olympic Committee. Everyone is doing everything they can to get me back on a board in time for February."
Brockhoff finished the 2016/2017 season, third on the women’s world rankings and finished 8th in her Olympic debut four years ago in Sochi, Russia.
Australia’s exceptional start to the Snowboard Cross season has continued after Jarryd Hughes claimed the top spot on the podium at the World Cup event in Montafon, Austria last night.
After finishing 26th in qualification, Hughes confidently progressed through the eight final, quarter-finals and semis to make the four-man big final.
It was there that the NSWIS rider showed his best as he held off local favourites Alessandro Haemmerle and Markus Scharer of Austria to take the gold medal.
"I am absolutely stoked with this result," Hughes said.
"I have been working incredibly hard in the off season, so it feels amazing to have that pay off at this event.
"This is my second career World Cup win and it's given me a huge confidence boost heading into the Olympic season."
With the final featuring Olympic Champions and World Cup winners, Hughes knew he had to be in his best form to secure a victory.
“It was a great race with a super-hot and competitive field,” said the 22-year-old Sydney-sider.
“I knew I had to step up, calm any nerves and just put down the best run I could.
“The fact I was able to execute and get the win feels awesome.”
Both Matt Thomas (12th) and last week’s silver medallist Adam Lambert (16th) were knocked out in the quarter-finals. Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin chose to sit out of finals racing and rest up after a crash in training before qualifying.
“The depth of Australia’s snowboard cross athlete in the OWIA/NSWIS program is unbelievable right now,” Hughes said with this result seeing Pullin remain on top of the overall World Cup standings, with Hughes now in fourth and Lambert in fifth after four of twelve World Cups.
“It puts our country in a great spot leading into the Olympics and that is really exciting.”
After coming out all guns blazing last season Australia’s Adam Lambert has proved that he’s a force to be reckoned with, finishing second in the FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup at Val Thorens, France overnight.
Lambert’s incredible result isn’t the only cause for celebration though, with the 20-year-old and his fellow OWIA teammate Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin having now taken out first and second places on the overall World Cup Standing.
“I’m super stoked, best result I’ve ever had,” a jubilant Lambert said.
“The whole day I was in second place, but those first few heats I was working pretty hard to get through. I was a bit slow at the start, I was in third and I was making my moves the last two, three turns but I got through.
“I feel like I raced really well and I backed up my qualification. Not quite the first place, but pretty close.”
The PyeongChang hopeful is the only Australian to have previously competed at Val Thorens, coming first in two of his races at the French resort during the 2016 Europa Cup.
Pullin said that he had a feeling on the morning of the finals that Lambert was going to have a great race day, especially after coming first in the qualifiers.
“He came in here, he’d raced here last year. He was feeling the groove early on in the track, put a lot of that into play, won qualifying convincingly and then this morning when we were just warming up, I looked over at him and I’m like, ‘Man!’,” he said.
“I didn’t want to jinx him but I was like ‘This kid’s got it, today he’s in the vibe’.
“I’m just so pumped for him. Since starting to ride with him, especially the last year, year-and-a-half when he’s been on tour he’s just really put in some good performances and this one especially.”
Sochi Olympian Cam Bolton placed 27th overall after coming fourth in his eighth final alongside fellow Australian Matt Thomas who came 16th. Meanwhile, after progressing through to the quarterfinals, Josh Miller ranked 11th.
Despite coming second in the qualification runs on Tuesday, a fall in his final meant that OWIA athlete Jarryd Hughes came in at 25th following the conclusion of the World Cup.
Following double gold in Argentina earlier this year, Pullin said that every single run for him at Val Thorens “was a challenge” but nevertheless, the two-time Olympian managed to gain enough points to keep him in the top spot overall after finishing sixth.
“And now in the rankings, the first ever in history Australia [is] one and two in the world – it blows my mind,” he said.
“I’m so happy and it’s just really cool because we put in a lot of work, we enjoy it, we love our sport. Everyone’s having a good time. Lambo’s comment that really turned my head this morning, he just said ‘I’m just buzzing man, look at what we do. It’s just so fun.”
Pullin raced in the finals against long-time rival and Frenchman Pierre Vaultier, who finished seventh.
“We’ve had an incredible rivalry throughout our time, met him in the second round and we went the whole way through,” he said.
“He didn’t make it to the [big] final either so it was really on my mind to beat him in the small final, which I got the pass at the last turn. I had to elbow the fence out of the way and make some room in the track and that’s really cool.”
The team will now have one day off before they’re back in the start gate again in Montafon, Switzerland.
Sochi Olympian and Snowboard Cross athlete, Belle Brockhoff has suffered a crash in Val Thorens and will now return to Australia to assess the damage.
"This definitely wasn't the return I had hoped for," said Brockhoff who was hoping to compete in her first World Cup at the French event.
"The visibility was horrendous so I couldn't see the take off on a feature. I missed the timing and landed funky."
After a year of injury problems that included surgery in March and only getting back on the snow in August, the Melbourne-native is remaining positive.
"Right now I believe it is bone bruising but I'll get a MRI in Austria this Friday.
"It is what it is really, there was a lot of positives that came from yesterday regardless of the crash."
Brockhoff said she had hit the benchmarks she had set for herself and it was just an unfortunate occurrence.
"Anyone could of made that mistake. There were a bunch of crashes on that course, even Eva Samkova (2014 Olympic Champion) crashed and now needs surgery.
"I don't feel I came back too early or wasn't ready, it was just unlucky. I am flying home to do my rehab and get stronger."
Brockhoff said the thing she was most disappointed in was not being able to defend her title at Montafon this week.
"I'm a little bummed I can't do the next few races but I want to be in the sport for a long time so I'm thinking about the bigger picture."
The 24-year-old was excited for her Australian team-mate Adam Lambert, who took home the silver medal at the World Cup event.
"I'm so stoked for Adam for his first ever World Cup podium, a huge congratulations to him."
Brockhoff said 20-year-old Lambert's silver medal overnight is a step in the right direction for the next generation of Aussie snowboard cross athletes.
"I'm so excited by younger athletes coming up through the ranks, it's great for our sport and the future of Australian snowboarding," she said. "Plus it lights the fire under our bums and gives us a run for our money."
Australia’s Snowboard Cross athletes will kick off the FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup Cross Alps Tour in Val Thorens, France this week no less than three months after their last World Cup in Cerro Catedral, Argentina.
Adam Lambert, who came out all guns blazing last season winning three Europa World Cups – two of which were in Val Thorens – said that he’s in “a pretty good spot going into the next few races”.
“365 days ago I would not be thinking that I would be here. Everything last year had to go almost perfectly to the tee, I got those two wins at Val Thorens and that win at Grasgehren a month later and that just got me my first start,” he said.
“But if I hadn’t gotten those I probably wouldn’t have gotten start in Feldberg and if I hadn’t gotten seventh at Feldberg I probably wouldn’t have been able to race in Sierra Nevada at the World Championships.
“So everything last season happened really quick and it happened in a really good order for me I feel and I’m super excited.”
While the 20-year-old is the only one out of his OWIA teammates to have competed in Val Thorens, he believes it only gives him a “minute advantage” coming into the World Cup.
“The course is not going to be the same, Europa Cup course is smaller, it’s only made for four people. When we go to the World Cup it’s going to be much bigger, it’s going to be made for six people in the line,” he said.
“I guess I know the mountain but I don’t know the course, maybe there is a slight advantage there but I wouldn’t say it’s anything … it’s nothing major.”
As for the rest of the Aussies, the thought of having never competed in Val Thorens before doesn’t faze them at all – after all, as coach Ben Wordsworth pointed out, the team hadn’t competed in Cerro Catedral before either.
“We went to Argentina as well and we hadn’t been there before on that course and our guys are good, they’re good with learning courses pretty quickly through their skill level,” he said.
“I’m sure our guys will be quick.”
OWIA athlete and Sochi Olympian, Jarryd Hughes, added that the advantage of there having never been a World Cup in Val Thorens means “everyone is on a pretty level playing field”.
“I have been preparing for this event really well with the Reign Snowboarding team, we had an amazing camp in Finland and I think it’s setting me up for a great season ahead,” he said.
Sochi Olympian Cam Bolton is relishing the opportunity to compete at a fresh venue, which he believes will be “a good chance to race everyone on a new course”.
“People haven’t ridden the course, it’s not like [there’s] particular fall lines which people can look out for and have an advantage from previous years,” he said.
“It’s a really good opportunity to go and test yourself out and pick up the course as quick as you can and put down your best performance. By the time finals roll round you’ve probably had eight or nine runs in the course in total over a couple of days.”
Two-time Olympian Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin will head into the first event of the Cross Alps Tour after winning double gold in Argentina at the last World Cup meet -- but he’s taking it one day at a time and considers each race a fresh start.
“Winning the last two races doesn’t put me any step ahead for that next race in terms of deciding Val Thorens as a result. It doesn’t put me any further towards the finish line than any other of my competitors. We will all still start at the start line – even,” he said.
“I’ve been waking up every single day thinking about boards and working on the way I eat and training, imagining racing and trying to pull all these little tiny threads out of who I am as a competitor and as a person and how to be better every day so that when I get to the race I can win.”
Lambert, Bolton and Pullin recently joined up with Belle Brockhoff, to train in Pitztal, Austria ahead of the Cross Alps tour.
Brockhoff, who has already been in Europe for two months working on her technique, said that it was great to have her teammates around so that they could all work off of each other.
“The guys are a lot stronger than I am, so Cam, Chumpy and Adam are a lot faster,” Brockhoff said.
“I can jump in with any one of those guys and be challenged, which is awesome.”
The 24-year-old Sochi Olympian says that she’s heading into Val Thorens “aiming to compete” but just eight-and-a-half months out of knee surgery her number one priority will be to not risk another injury, taking it “day-by-day, heat-by-heat”.
“I don’t feel held back at all by my knee, I don’t think about my knee when I’m riding, I’m just purely working on technique,” she said.
“I’ll watch the course testing, I’ll do the training if everything is up for it.”
Val Thorens signals the start of a jam-packed schedule that will see our Aussies compete in three World Cups within two weeks crossing the European continent and racing in Montafon, Austria and Cervinia, Italy.
You can keep up to date with the live results HERE and on OWIA’s Twitter account.
OWIA/NSWIS Snowboard Cross athlete Belle Brockhoff, has made a successful return to competition, advancing through two rounds to the semi-final stage at the first of two Europa Cup events in Pitztal, Austria.
The event is Brockhoff’s first since injuring her right knee at the 2017 World Championships in March.
Brockhoff started strongly in the first few rounds of of head-to-head racing, progressing through the round of 32 and 16.
Belle elected to end her day at the semi-final round, and not compete further.
After the race Brockhoff was happy with her return.
"First race of the season went really well. I made it through every heat including advancing into semis but I decided to pull out as it was my first time in a full track and didn't want to rush things.
I felt really good on the board and worked on the things I needed to improve on as well as feeling confident that my knee can hold up pushing it at a higher intensity. Really excited for the upcoming World Cup in France! Feeling really happy to be back!"
In the men’s event, Adam Lambert was Australia’s highest placed finished in tenth, with Josh Miller close behind in 11th.
Other Australian’s who advanced through to the round of 32 stage finals included Cam Bolton in 19th and Matthew Thomas placing 20th.
With many of the best athletes in the world based in Pitztal early in the season to make the most of the resort's high alpine terrain, the field at these events often contains many top World Cup athletes.
Brockhoff and Bolton both elected not to compete in the second Europa Cup event, with the best results came from NSWIS riders Adam Dickson and Matthew Thomas, who both placed ninth. Henry Collins also made the round of 32 finals, finishing in 17th.
IMAGE: Belle Brockhoff in Europe © Belle Brockhoff Instagram
“Looking back at the crash in March it feels like it’s gone really quick,” Australia’s queen of Snowboard Cross Belle Brockhoff said from Switzerland late last week.
“It feels like just yesterday that I was flying home for surgery.”
After intensive rehab following reconstruction to her knee that took her out of the World Championships and unable to finish the World Cup season, Brockhoff was always one hundred percent convinced that not only would she be back, but better. The time allowed the seven-time World Cup medallist (including three gold), to strengthen mind, body and soul.
After returning to snow in the domestic season under the watchful eye of OWIA Head of Rehab, Ashley Merkur, Brockhoff has continued on to Switzerland.
“I am training in Saas Fee with my coach, physio and sport psych,” she explained. “We are working on many things technically and also a lot of basics, which I find really important. I’m also meditating heaps and working on that state of flow mentality.”
“There’s definitely a new bounce in my step. Having not being able to ride for so long makes each day all the more exciting and sweeter.”
Her OWIA boardercross team mates Alex Pullin, Cam Bolton and Adam Lambert are due to join up in late November before the next World Cup in Val Thorens, France on December 12.
“Yeah, I'm really looking forward to all the boys to come over. I really enjoy riding and training with them since I can learn heaps from them. We have a ton of fun together.
August 28 was a momentous day for Snowboard cross rider and Sochi Olympian, Belle Brockhoff who got back on a board and hit the slopes for the first time in over five months.
“It feels really good to be back,” said Brockhoff who has undergone serious knee surgery after a crash before World Championships saw her tear her ACL.
“I’m really happy to get on a snowboard again.”
Five months out from a Winter Olympic Games, most athletes would have spent plenty of time on the snow but the 24-year-old has taken another route - undergoing surgery and focusing on a full recovery before she takes on international competition.
“Rehabilitation is going really well. My knee feels good and there weren’t any issues on snow.
“Right now, I’m just over preparing it since it’ll be a full-on schedule this tour,” said Brockhoff who is aiming to return to international competition this December.
“There’s no rush to compete but to really make sure things are solid with my knee. The priority is the Games in February.”
Brockhoff’s Australian boardercross team mates kicked off their Olympic season in Argentina last week with race one and two of the World Cup circuit, displaying performances Brockhoff described as “really amazing!”
Two-time Olympian and Brockhoff’s close friend, Alex “Chumpy” Pullin proved his means business in 2017, taking out both races.
“The boys did so well, especially with Chumpy’s double win, what a legend! I’m really happy for him.”
Brockhoff who is hoping to replicate this success at her second Olympics in February, which she believes she can do if she focuses on being fit, both mentally and physically.
“I know once I get to the Games, I won’t be able to improve my skill level that much more but trust myself with my skill set and make sure I’m in a good headspace,” said Brockhoff who has been using meditation a tool for best performance.
“I’ve been working with Tom, the Olympic Winter Institute’s Sport psychologist, on many things.
“I’m really excited about the progress I’ve made and looking forward to using the tools I have in action.
In her spare time between recovery and training, Brockhoff has started her own clothing label, a unisex line called Yuzoko.
“It’s going really well, ticking along slowly like any other start-up business.
“It does keep me busy but I love what I’m learning from it and enjoy the marketing side of it.
“It’s definitely something that I’ll want to keep doing 5-10 years from now if i keep working at it.”
Brockhoff will train in Melbourne for two more weeks, before heading to Europe to begin on snow training.
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