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.