Although the Australian Institute of Sport rider went into the event already as the world number one, he leaves Arosa with a vise-grip on finishing the season as the top ranked athlete, which would see Pullin awarded the coveted Crystal Globe trophy for the second time in his outstanding career.
With appearances in all five World Cup finals contested this season, plus a World Championships title, and just two rounds remaining before the close of the northern hemisphere year, Pullin has extended his lead over nearest rival, Austrian Markus Schairer, to 1150 points.
The win, which heightens the gloss to a bright season for a number of other Australian wintersport athletes, is the third in Pullin’s World Cup career and is added to his defense of his World Championship title in January.
But it did not come without a battle with American Nate Holland, who finished in second place and young Spaniard Lucas Eguibar in third.
Holland, a veteran of five World Cup wins, two World Championship podiums and a list of X Games successes, seemed to find another gear as he flew past Pullin between turns three and four in the final.
Then the brilliance of the Australian kicked in and he was able to transform the situation into a win, with the two combatants crossing the line in a nail-biting photo finish.
Pullin said that his fighting spirit, which he has displayed all season, is one of the features that he is most proud of this year.
“It is really tough to get through to the final that decides the podium,” Pullin said.
“That’s something I’m really proud of this season. It’s easy to feel tired, mentally, but I keep pushing myself to the limit where everything is on the line.
“I got away with my best start today and that allowed me to get out and get clean and race down to turn three when Nick Holland made a really good pass with extra speed into turn four but having seen that happen before and executed that pass myself earlier, I knew where he was going to end up.
“I stuck right on his tail and in the final two jumps I put the hammer down and attacked hard. It paid off.
"As we crossed the line, I threw my board out in front and had the win.
“It was racing at its best and it was really cool to finish the day like that with everything coming down to the line. It feels like such a good victory. It was challenging and enjoyable.
“The photo finish shows that the sport is increasingly challenging to win, even heats right through to the final. They’re all really tight to win.”
Statistically, Pullin needs to finish the year with the number one ranking to equal his all-conquering 2010/2011 season, when he won the first of his two World Championships and the Crystal Globe, but irrespective of whether that occurs, he is adamant that this season has been the best of his glittering career.
“I would say that this season is my best. Whether I get the Crystal Globe or not, this has been my best as far as racing, the best with performances in heats, because the sport is getting more challenging to win.
“In this time and being an Olympic year this has been the best season I could have wished for. Making finals all the way through, normally you would not see that, even with World Cup leaders.
“This has been one of those seasons where you have had to put down those performances. I have been the only one to do that so far. I have been in finals at every event and I feel proud and strong with that. So far I couldn’t ask for more.
“We have rivalries like the Vettels and the Jenson Buttons in Formula One and the Rossis and the Casey Stoners. We’ve got that going on this tour. It’s really fun. It pushes me and my riding at every competition.
“You need to go out and put down your best performance at every single event.”
In other results with Australians, NSW Institute of Sport rider Cam Bolton qualified for the finals also, finishing in 35th place while in the women’s draw, world number eight and NSWIS athlete Belle Brockhoff was 11th, making it through to the consolation final.
Olympic halfpipe Champion Torah Bright finished in 20th place, after making her first career appearance in snowboard cross head to head finals racing at the World Cup level.