While the Australian Institute of Sport snowboarder had his eyes on another victory, he clearly underlined that he is the benchmark athlete in this year’s series, being the only SBX rider to win through to every World Cup final contested so far this season.
He said he was pleased to back up his history making second world crown a week ago with today’s gripping battle, which almost resulted in another win.
However, Canadian Christopher Robanske finished narrowly in front of the Australian, while former World Championship medallist, American Nick Baumgartner, was third.
Pullin delivered a strong follow up to his World Championship defence in Stoneham, Canada, on January 26 when he was third fastest in yesterday’s qualifying session, a winner in the first knock out final and a quarter final, second in the semi-final, before being edged off the top podium step by the Canadian in the last race of the day.
Pullin said he was determined to keep the pressure on his opponents after the World Championship win.
“I knew going into this event that there was expectation on me to again do well and the last thing I wanted was not to put in a good performance today,” Pullin said.
“But I knew that if I kept the positive mental state that I have maintained all season, make sure I continue to enjoy racing and have fun, that everything will come together.
“This is what I’ll be doing for the rest of the season, making sure I continue enjoying the racing.”
Pullin’s podium finish, the eighth of his World Cup career, pushes him 320 points clear of the second ranked Robanske in the chase for the coveted Crystal Globe, which is awarded to the athlete who finishes the season with the most points.
Pullin won the Crystal Globe in the same year he collected his first World Championship title in 2011.
AIS snowboard program head coach Ben Wordsworth said that he and Pullin had two goals at the start of the season – to successfully defend the World Championship and to record another World Cup series win.
With one of those goals in the bag, they are approaching the remaining nine rounds, including one in Sochi, Russia, the venue for next year’s Winter Olympic Games, with a great deal of determination.
“There were a lot of passes in the final with Chumpy going from second to fourth and back to second,” Wordsworth said.
“It’s always difficult to come off a big win like the World Championships and get back up and motivated to do well again the following week but he rode really well today.
“He learned a lot last year and now he is racing well, riding well and with all the hard work he put in over the break, it is a credit to him. He deserves everything.
“He is now looking forward to Sochi to make sure he is fast on that course.”
It was also a positive weekend for other Australian snowboard cross riders with NSWIS athlete Cam Bolton finishing in 17th, after posting the fifth fastest qualifying time while talented teenager Jarryd Hughes was 24th in qualifying and 32nd overall.
In the women’s draw, NSWIS scholarship holder Belle Brockhoff was 16th