When racing did commence in the pea soup conditions, NSWIS riders Alex Pullin, Cam Bolton and Adam Lambert easily made it through to the quarterfinals – with Pullin looking in particularly good form having led qualifying the day before.
Belle Brockhoff, who was holding a slim lead on the overall world standings over Eva Samkova (CZE), went head-to-head with the Czech Olympic Champion in the quarter finals and had to settle for second after a wild race in poor conditions.
Brockhoff struggled in the semis, finishing fourth and facing the small final, which she needed to win to preserve her number one World Cup ranking. It wasn’t Brockoff’s day with an overall final seventh placing. Eva Samkova went on to take second in the big final, boosting her total points to 4,370 overtaking Belle Brockhoff on 4,060 points.
In the men’s event, Pullin made a magnificent charge in the quarterfinals coming from behind with extreme speed, leaving the field in his wake and clinching a semi-final berth.
In only his third World Cup event, 19-year-old rookie NSWIS athlete Adam Lambert again impressed, squeezing his way through on the finish line to also make the semi-final. Cam Bolton finished third in his quarter and was unable to progress.
Jarryd Hughes, who had qualified in tenth position, did not start in the heats for the quarterfinals.
“I had a fall yesterday in practice and just pushed through the time trials,” Hughes explained.
Pullin’s semi-final ended in grief with a spill mid-course on a day when anything could have happened in conditions that presented challenges to athletes and officials. Pullin raced the small final with determination and skill, crossing the finish line first with fellow Aussie Adam Lambert in second.
The La Molina Men’s results ended with Pullin 5th, Lambert 6th, Bolton 11th and Matt Thomas 22nd.
The Men’s World Cup standings have not changed for Alex Pullin who remains in fourth with 2,790 points and Jarryd Hughes on 6th with 2,068. Cameron Bolton is sitting in 17th with 840 points.
Adam Lambert has charged into the top twenty, collecting points in each of his first three World Cups and is in 18th with 740 points.
The next Snowboard Cross event will be the World Championships scheduled for March 11 and 12 in Sierra Nevada, Spain with the first ever world championships team SBX event on March 13.
Following the World Championships, Snowboard Cross has one remaining World Cup in Switzerland from March 24 to 26.