Australia’s march toward PyeongChang 2018 has been boosted by Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin’s double gold medal haul in the season’s opening Snowboard Cross World Cups in Cerro Catedral, Argentina.
The two extraordinary victories under glorious skies makes it the eighth and ninth career World Cup golds for Pullin and marks the start of the medal count for Australia’s winter athletes this season.
Double World Champion Pullin was dominant in the two Snowboard Cross World Cups held in the South American ski resort over the weekend.
Pullin, the second fastest qualifier lived up to expectations in the first World Cup, charging out of the gate in the final four to dominate the race by a wide lead from start to finish over Italy’s Emanuel Perathoner and Jonathan Cheever from USA.
“I’m stoked to take the win at the first World Cup of the tour. The track and the weather were both bloody beautiful,” Pullin said after the first win. “The course was great. I'm just very excited that I put down a win. There is no feeling than crossing the line when there is no one in front of you.”
Backing up for the second World Cup was almost a repeat of the previous day.
“I felt fast in training so I knew I should be pretty good today with the racing again. I just had to keep the body feeling good and positive vibes,” he said this morning.
“The first few heats got underway and they were pretty good and then, yeah, I was just able to do it again and lead the heat from the start, find some daylight and go. Feels amazing, unreal. I couldn’t be happier to be honest. It’s a perfect way to start the season.”
Pullin won his second gold ahead of Alessandro Haemmerle from Italy and Mick Dierdorff (USA).
Australia was heavily represented in Argentina, having qualified all its men into for the first World Cup with only Pullin making it into the finals. Cameron Bolton finished 14th, Jarryd Hughes 15th, Josh Miller 20th, Matt Thomas 23rd, Adam Lambert 24th and Adam Dickson 32nd.
In the second World Cup Adam Lambert and Jarryd Hughes both made it the small final, finishing 5th and 8th respectively. Other Aussie placings were Adam Dickson 12th, Cam Bolton 16th, Josh Miller 28th. Matt Thomas was unable to qualify.
Pullin and the majority of Australia’s SBX team head back to Australia for more training. The next Snowboard Cross World Cup will be held in mid-December in Val Thorens, France.
World Cup winner Belle Brockhoff hopes to rejoin the team in Europe during November after completing rehabilitation from a knee injury suffered at the World Championships in March.
Alex Pullin’s dominant first race to gold on Sunday morning can be viewed here.
His second World Cup victory can be viewed here