The partnership between Club Med and the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA) has been of great benefit to the Snowboard Cross program in the past week, with the team using the Club Med facility in Valmorel, France, as an on-snow base before the final World Cup of the season this weekend in Veysonnaz, Switzerland.
The camp was a great success for the whole program, with the athletes making the most of the Club Med and facilities including gym, start gate training and GS training, while still making the most of the great food and entertainment at the Club Med resort as they recovered and prepared between events.
The athletes also spent time meeting guests and staff as representatives of the OWIA Snowboard Cross team.
The OWIA coaches and athletes were full of praise for their Club Med Valmorel experience.
Head Coach - Harald Benselin
"Thank you Club Med and OWIA for this opportunity to be in Valmorel."
"Perfect timing between two World Cup races to reset the team with fantastic lodging, great food and a warm welcome from the Club Med staff of Valmorel."
"We enjoyed this opportunity to practice some essential riding skills around specific training such as the start gate and some good slalom but also some skiing skills with the team."
"Looking forward to coming back, the French Alps are great, see you soon Club Med!"
Athlete - Adam Dickson:
“Couldn’t have found a more welcoming place, had such an awesome time at Club Med. One of the best places I’ve been to relax and reset with a bit of training thrown in!”
Athlete - Cam Bolton
"We were fortunate to be able to spend our week off at Club Med in Valmorel. They looked after us and kept us well fed and comfortable, ensuring we will be firing on all cylinders for the final World Cup of the season. Can't wait to go back!"
Athlete - Josh Miller:
"From being greeted at the entrance and having bags brought to the room to the final night's show, my stay in Club Med has been full of good riding, good food and good people, can’t wait to come back."
IMAGES © Lachy Keevers
TOP - The OWIA Snowboard Cross Program taking in the Valmorel views
MIDDLE - Start gate training in front of the Club Med
BOTTOM - Adam Dickson carving up the French Alps
NSWIS Snowboard Cross athlete Adam Lambert has become the second Australian Snowboard Cross athlete to win a World Cup medal this season, taking silver in Baqueira Beret, Spain.
His second place finish was the 21-year-old's first podium appearance since last season.
"I am so happy to finally get back on the podium, it's been a tough year for me with fewer races this season but I'm stoked to have pulled a result out and I'm excited to get to Veysonnaz."
It was a strong event for the NSWIS athletes, with four Australian athletes reaching the top 16 quarter final stage.
Triple Olympian Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin also placed well, taking out the men's small final to finish fifth overall. Jarryd Hughes came in at 11th, Cameron Bolton in 16th, while Adam Dickson placed 22nd and Josh Miller 49th.
The final event of the season in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, will feature a limited field of only the top 32 ranked athletes on the World Cup standings.
Four Australians will be in action, with Alex Pullin currently ranked fourth, Cameron Bolton eighth, Adam Lambert 10th and Jarryd Hughes 25th.
IMAGE - Adam Lambert (left) on the podium in Spain © FIS Snowboard
Australian dual Olympian Cameron Bolton has claimed his first ever FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup win in Feldberg, Germany. The victory was even sweeter for the 28-year-old NSWIS rider who crashed on this course three years ago which resulted in a broken back.
Lining up in the 40th start of his career matched up in a tough final heat against German pair Paul Berg and Konstantin Schad, as well as young Japanese rider Yoshiki Takahara, jumping quickly out of the left gate and into the lead before the first corner with the Germans hot on his tail.
With Takahara clipping Schad’s board and nearly crashing on the first corner, Schad and Berg would be free to battle for second while Bolton opened up a comfortable lead, holding on easily through the finish for the win.
“It feels really, really good,” said Bolton of his first World Cup win, “It was a tricky race today and I'm happy I was able to come out here and do it.
"Three years ago I broke my back on this course, so to come out here and qualify first and then take the win, it feels like I have a little bit of redemption. And to share the podium with a couple of German riders on their home turf is nice, too.
"I took a lot of confidence out of qualifying in first, however, I immediately shifted my focus to the heat racing, which was going to be another kettle of fish.
"Everything came together and I had one of those days where you feel as though you can control everything around you.
"I'm feeling great on snow and have a terrific team around me. I'm looking forward to building on this result," he said.
Also in finals for Australia was Alex "Chumpy" Pullin, who finished in 18th place, with Adam Dickson 29th, and Jarryd Hughes 31st.
Adam Lambert in 33rd and Josh Miller 43rd just missed qualifying for the 32-man final rounds.
The Snowboard Cross team now has a break before the next World Cup in Baqueira Beret, Spain, on March 2nd.
IMAGE - Cam Bolton celebrates his first career Victory after crossing the finish line in Feldberg © FIS Snowboard
Two time World Champion Alex "Chumpy" Pullin has made a strong start to the season, finishing seventh and fourth in the opening FIS Snowboarding World Cup events in Cervinia, Italy.
After the two events, Pullin is currently ranked fifth in the world, a testament to consistent form in both events in Cervinia.
Olympic Silver Medallist Jarryd Hughes was Australia's highest ranked qualifier in eighth place, and went on to finish in 19th on day one and 22nd on day two.
The other NSWIS program athletes, Cameron Bolton (26th and 34th), Adam Dickson (30th and 52nd), Josh Miller (40th and 54th) and Adam Lambert (43rd and 14th) were also in action in Italy.
A special mention to Josh Miller, who was able to compete after a hospital visit following a bad crash during training on the day before qualification.
The Snowboard Cross program now has a long break before the next event, the 2019 World Championships at the end of January in Solitude, UT, USA.
Australian Athlete Results
Alex Pullin - 7th and 4th
Jarryd Hughes - 19th & 22nd
Cameron Bolton - 26th & 34th
Adam Dickson - 30th & 52nd
Josh Miller - 40th & 54th
Adam Lambert - 43rd & 14th
IMAGE - Alex "Chumpy" Pullin out in front in the yellow bib © Miha Matavz/FIS
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.
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.
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.
Another World Cup awaits our Australian snowboard cross athletes, heading across the pond to Banslo, Bulgaria; making its debut appearance on the world cup tour.
World number 2 female Belle Brockhoff will be looking to keep up her strong current form, after finishing 6th in the final in Soltitude.
While in the men's field, current Top 10 riders Alex Pullin and Jarryd Hughes will compete on one of the shorter courses designed for the tour calendar, and will also be joined by Cam Bolton and NSWIS riders Matt Thomas, Josh Miller and Adam Dickson.
Bulgaria will pose a different test for the athletes than what they have faced so far this season, with a more technical start section which is placed on a steep face.
From there, riders will head into the main features which consist of a step down, triple, table top and final jumps varying in size from 16 to 22 metres.
Speed will be key to success in the shorter form of the track, with qualification starting tomorrow night (AEDT) at 7:45pm for the men and 10:30pm for the women, with live scoring found on the FIS website.
Belle Brockhoff bounced back from a slight fall in qualification to finish sixth in the Big Final of the Snowboard Cross World Cup in Solitude, USA, this morning.
After qualifying in 15th for the finals, Brockhoff placed 3rd in her quarter final and semi-final to book a spot in the Big Final.
A mistake on a feature near the top of the course in the final, put her behind and was unable to make up any ground on the leaders. Eva Samkova won the event and leapfrogged Brockhoff into the world number one spot.
She did not slip far, holding onto the second place in the world rankings after a tough day of snow conditions.
In the men's competition, Jarryd Hughes topped the list of Aussies, finishing the World Cup in eighth overall after placing second in the Small Final.
Hughes just snuck in to the finals after qualifying in 41st place, but backed up last month's fourth placing with another top-10 placing today.
Dual World Champion Alex Pullin (17th), NSWIS rider Matt Thomas (22nd) and Cam Bolton (23rd) were not able to make it past the second round of head to head racing.
Josh Miller qualified for finals to finish in 43rd, while Adam Dickson was 53rd in the qualification round.
A World Cup Snowboard Cross team event also took place at Solitude, with Jarryd Hughes and Josh Miler representing Australia. The team unfortunately was knocked out in the first round of competition, finishing ranked equal 13th.
The next stop on the Snowboard Cross World Cup tour is Solitude Mountain Resort, USA - a new venue for the sport in which Australians have been successful in recent years , inspired in many instances by two-time Olympian and World Champion Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, Current World Cup leader Belle Brockhoff and X Games Champ, Jarryd Hughes.
Along with Pullin, Brockhoff and Hughes Australia’s Snowboard Cross team for Solitude includes Cam Bolton and NSWIS riders Matt Thomas, Adam Dickson and Josh Miller.
The event, to be held from 19 to 21 January, will be the second World Cup for the 2016-17 season and the first major international snowboarding competition Solitude has hosted.
That the course will be new to all competitors could well suit the Australians according to OWIA head Coach Ben Wordsworth.
“We’ve never raced at Solitude before and because it’s the first World Cup on that slope, we don’t know what the course will be like,” Wordsworth said.
However, there’s been lots of snow, which lends itself to building something big and technical – and that generally suits our athletes.”
“We have very high-end athletes such as Alex and Belle who are very good in the technical area.”
“Belle really likes the big rollers, jumps and banks and she’s skilful in that area,” he said.
Belle Brockhoff triumphed in a thrilling and exciting snowboard cross World Cup opener in mid-December at Montafon in Austria, winning her second career gold in a photo finish in what she described as a challenging course.
After a short break over the Christmas period in Australia Belle re-joined the OWIA Snowboard Cross Team in Ski Cooper, putting in valuable preparation.
"I had great preparation this week for the upcoming world cup in Solitude and I’m looking forward to the racing this week and starting 2017 strong," Belle said.
Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, who began his season in Montafon with a third place, says he is on track for this weekend’s event.
"I had a good training camp in Ski Cooper this last week and I am looking forward to getting back to the World Cup in Solitude this week with some solid racing."
For Wordsworth, results count. “We’re staying focussed on what we need to do, which is to get results.”
21-year-old Jarryd Hughes, already an Olympian from Sochi, had a great start to his season in Montafon despite being injured, qualifying second and making it to the final where he ended up fourth overall.
“Qualifying second was really a confidence-booster and great way to come into the season,” Hughes said.
“In the run-up to Montafon I was injured (with bone bruising) and only had 12 days on snow the entire month and that included all the race days.”
Time at home after Montafon provided the youngest team member of the OWIA Snowboard Cross team time to recover, relax, train and enjoy a bit of summer.
“I’d be lost without the beach and the snow.” he said. “I was training at home after I got back, but it’s also good to relax and enjoy the summer while I can.”
“I left for Utah on January 10 with a few extra days to acclimatise and be with a few other riders to make sure I’m physically and mentally ready for Solitude. I like to focus on what I’m doing.”
His focus has much to do with personal belief and trusting his instincts.
“Some people have a whole lot of plans,” he said when asked what it’s like to stand waiting at the start gate. “I go in without a set race plan and let what I want to do take over. I trust my instincts.”
“There’s a lot of intensity at the start gate and it’s the people who best deal with it that continue on.”
OWIA athlete Cam Bolton is looking to improve on his season opener.
“Cam is healthy and has trained hard over the Australian summer,” coach Wordsworth said.
“He’s definitely one of our fastest riders. It was unfortunate in Montafon that he was hit by another rider in the quarters and went out."
The winter wonderland dream results continue for Australia with Belle Brockhoff and Alex (Chumpy) Pullin winning Gold and Bronze respectively in the opening World Cup of the Snowboard Cross season in Montafon, Austria overnight.
It could not have gone any better for the NSWIS athlete Belle Brockhoff who had a near perfect qualifying run on Thursday, finishing second behind Olympic champion Eva Samkova, before winning the Quarter Final then coming second in her Semi to book a spot in the Final.
Trailing by a small margin to Sochi Bronze medallist Chloe Trespeuch coming through the second time-gate, Brockhoff had to work hard to take back the lead in the Final, to claim victory in the end. She was jubilant to start her season off in the best possible way.
“Couldn’t ask for anything better to start the tour off. Thank you for the support, happy days,” Belle Brockhoff said after winning Gold.
A full-strength field was another tough challenge for the men, but as big names dropped out in the quarter finals, Pullin and fellow Aussie Jarryd Hughes made the most of it to push deep into the finals, with Pullin snaring a podium spot in 3rd.
Hughes got the jump on Pullin in the qualifying round, coming in second with Chumpy sitting in 11th.
But the Quarter Final was where the boys really got going, topping their respective group before moving through to the same Semi, where Hughes pipped Pullin and both progressed to the Final.
The tables were turned in the final when Hughes unfortunately did not finish to place fourth overall as Chumpy raced through in third to join Brockhoff with a podium finish.
Pullin copped a knock to the mouth in the final, but was thrilled with his result and congratulated USA winner Hagen Kearney on his first World Cup win.
“Sick day of racing, stoked to land on the podium at the first stop of the tour after some really tight heats,” Pullin said.
After the races, Olympic Winter Institute of Australia head coach Ben Wordsworth credited Brockhoff and Pullin’s hard work in training and said they were delighted to get a great early result.
“Belle has put a lot of work in through the Australian winter which paid off today. She made a great pass in the final and took a great win,” he said.
“Chumpy also rode extremely well today, putting a lot of work into his equipment and technique over the break. He rode some tight heats and made some great racing moves to get that podium.”
The only other Australian to qualify for finals, Cam Bolton, progressed through his Eight Final but couldn’t move out of the Quarters, finishing 15th overall.
NSW Institute of Sport team mates Matt Thomas, Josh Miller and Adam Dickson were placed 33rd, 38th and 56th after the qualifying competition.
A World Cup team event also took place in Montafon, with Matt Thomas and Josh Miller representing Australia. The young team did well placing fifth in the small final.
The athletes will break over Christmas in preparation for the next World Cup event in USA starting January 19.
A fit and healthy Australian Snowboard Cross team are ready for the first World Cup of the new season, as they take to the snow for qualification in Montafon, Austria tonight.
The bar is set high within the talented group of Olympians and exciting youngsters, with the season opener acting as perfect ground to showcase some solid early form.
Belle Brockhoff, fresh off winning two Europa Cup events in Pitzal, Austria last week, will lead the charge with New South Wales Institute of Sport team-mate Cam Bolton, who finished 9th last week, and Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin taking to the snow in the men’s field.
Jarryd Hughes, Josh Miller and Adam Dickson will also be competing, as Australia showcases one of its strongest ever fields in the sport.
Confident ahead of this week’s event, coach Ben Wordsworth said his team had been training well and are searching for good results early.
“Chumpy, Belle, Cam and NSWIS athlete Matt Thomas, have been here in Pitzal using the state-of-the-art facilities in preparation for this week,” he said.
“The last three weeks of preparation have been used to fine tune their technique and most importantly their heat racing to prepare for some strong results in the first race.”
Olympic qualification is far from the minds of Wordsworth and his team, with the ultimate goal of PyeongChang in 2018 still a fair way down the track.
“We don’t think about it, we just want to focus on the World Cups,” Wordsworth said.
“Obviously the qualification aspect is in there, but we just want the guys to try and nail each race and get the best results we can and the qualification will follow.”
Varying weather conditions earlier in the week raised some concerns over the start time of the event, but more stable and colder weather in the Vorarlberg Alps have helped ensure the event will go ahead.
Qualifcation starts tonight at 11pm AEDT, with the finals starting at midnight on Friday to be shown live on Eurosport. You can find more information and program times below.
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