Competing in the third round of the snowboard cross World Cup, the Australian Institute of Sport rider blitzed the quality 66-man field in qualifying, which followed on from his domination in qualifying in the second round four days ago, but in the first race of the finals, everything unraveled.
About three quarters of the way into the first final, Pullin was vying for the lead with Andrey Boldykov, winner of the World Cup second round event, when the Russian closed a gap in the field that forced the Mt Buller athlete to ride around the wrong side of a course marker, resulting in immediate disqualification from the race.
This sort of incident is commonplace in tight races and unfortunately for Pullin there was nothing he could do, due to the lack of track space left by Boldykov.
The event was won by American veteran Nate Holland, with Austria’s former World Champion Markus Schairer second and Italy’s Emanuel Perathoner claiming his first World Cup podium finish.
AIS snowboard program head coach Ben Wordsworth said that both he and Pullin, while disappointed, will put the incident down to experience.
“This sort of thing goes with the territory,” Wordsworth said.
“At the end of the day the positives are that we know he has qualified fastest twice so far this season, his equipment is working well for him, he is healthy and determined to win.”
Wordsworth said that Pullin will regroup by “switching off” for a few days while he travels to his next event, the X Games, in Aspen, USA, from January 26-29.