Belle Brockhoff and Adam Dickson have completed a great week of preparation for the final World Cup events of the season, by recording victories at the Nor-Am events at Ski Cooper resort in Colorado, USA.
Brockhoff won both days of competition, continuing her great form which has seen her on the World Cup podium three times this season.
In the men's day one event, Cam Bolton was the fastest in qualifications, winning the round by 1.3 seconds. Bolton went through to the final, finishing in fourth place.
On day two, Adam Dickson made it the third win for Australia over the weekend, recording the fourth victory of his Nor-Am career.
The Australian Snowboard Cross team will next compete at the World Cup event in Sierra Nevada, Spain, on March 6-7.
IMAGE: Podium images for the three Australian gold medals at Ski Cooper, CO, USA
The FIS World Cup Snowboard Cross season kicked off in Montafon, Austria, with Australian Winter Olympians Cameron Bolton and Belle Brockhoff both winning a place on the podium.
Bolton, 29, from Melbourne, Victoria, won silver in the men’s Snowboard Cross and Brockhoff, 26, from Melbourne, took bronze in the women’s.
Bolton’s silver is his third World Cup medal, and first silver placement. The two time Winter Olympian secured his spot in the final in tough weather conditions with heavy snow and wind to take second at the finish line.
“I’m absolutely wrapped to come away with a second for the first event, I took it one heat at a time” said Bolton of his race strategy. “I’m looking for a podium in every race, I think you have to go into every race looking for that.”
It was a particularly sweet third place for Brockhoff. This season is her first full season back after two separate knee injuries in the past two years. The bronze medal at Montafon on is her eighth World Cup medal (3 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze) and first since 2017.
“I’m so happy, it’s been a long road” said an ecstatic Brockhoff. “I had quite a few plans in place to see what would happen at the start and best options to take. This is a great way to start the 2019/2020 season.”
Alessandro Haemmerle (AUT) took gold and Omar Visinton (ITA) took bronze in the men’s event and Eva Samkova (CZE) took gold and Michela Moioli (ITA) took silver in the women’s event.
Olympic silver medallist, Jarryd Hughes, also performed well, finishing third in the small final, giving him a final ranking of seventh place overall.
Other Australian athletes competing in Montafon were Adam Lambert (19th), Adam Dickson (31st) and Alex "Chumpy" Pullin (48th).
The Australian snowboard cross team will now travel to Cervinia, Italy, for the next FIS World Cup on December 22.
Mt Hotham hosted races three and four of the SBX FIS ANC on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 September with plenty of action across the two days.
A host of internationals from Germany, USA, Japan, Brazil, Korea, China, Thailand and Canada lined up against some strong, young Australian talent - a combination which resulted in some hotly contested races.
Olympian Belle Brockhoff was in fine form in her maiden competition in 2019, after returning from a knee injury, taking out first place in the women’s race three and was closely followed by Aussie Mia Clift who finished third.
In the men’s race, Olympian Cam Bolton won the silver with fellow Aussies Olympian Adam Lambert and Adam Dickson crossing the line in 5th and 6th position respectively.
The Aussie men remained consistent throughout the two day competition as they secured three top five positions in Race four -– Dickson third, Lambert fourth and Bolton in fifth.
Race for for the women saw the Aussie young guns step up and take it to the strong international cohort, with 15-year-old Mia Clift claiming second spot and 16-year-old Josie Banff taking out fourth place.
Young gun Mia Clift was crowned as the overall Continental Cup champion in the women’s and after some strong performances Cam Bolton claimed the men’s title.
It was a big week for Australian snowboarders as Mt Hotham hosted the annual FIS ANC SBX and Australian National Grom Championships.
From the emerging to the elite, there was something for everyone as riders of all ages and abilities took to the mountain.
Olympian Cam Bolton topped the podium in Race 1 of the men's ANC, defeating Adam Dickson and Olympian Adam Lambert.
In the women's ANC race, Christina Taylor won from Josie Baff and Jessica Dickson.
Bolton said the international competition was among the strongest he has seen at Mt Hotham.
“Normally the first couple of rounds you can relax but it started to heat up a little earlier this year,” Bolton said.
“Athletes who’ve been on the pathway for a few years are starting to get quicker and they’re keeping the national team on our toes,” he said.
The two-time Olympian won each of his heats and that set the scene for a close final.
“I had a good start and was out quick and into the lead. Adam (Dickson) was right on my hammer and drafting in the middle of the course, doing everything he could.
“He (Dickson) tried to pull up on my inside and we got the wobbles and that gave me a bit of speed and we spread back out.
“It was tight over the last three turns. Adam (Dickson) was riding really well so it was good to have that good healthy battle,” Bolton said.
Offering more than competition, the FIS ANC SBX and Australian National Grom Championships is run in conjunction with the SSA Futures Camp and this year's event saw 74 pathway athletes make the most of talent development opportunities and a chance to train alongside OWIA and NSWIS athletes. This was SSA's largest attended SBX Futures Camp and next year's event is expected to be even bigger to allow more of the SBX community to get involved.
Two time Olympian Cameron Bolton has finished the season off in style, taking bronze at the World Cup Final in Veysonnaz, Switzerland.
The third place result is the NSWIS rider's second podium of the season. In February he won his maiden World Cup victory in Feldberg, Germany.
After the event a happy Bolton commented.
"Had a crazy start to the day, had a big crash in training but luckily had Wennie here to help me out and work some miracle physio at the top."
"The first heat was shaky too, I was in second place and got passed by everyone after I made a mistake, and then went from fourth back to first."
"It's been a rollercoaster day, won the next round of 16, second in the semi-final, and then finished on the podium."
Also in action for Australia was Alex "Chumpy" Pullin, who finished 18th and Adam Lambert 25th.
The final World Cup standings reflect Bolton's breakthough season, with a personal best fifth place end of season ranking, easily surpassing his previous best of 20th in 2017.
Pullin finished the season in seventh, with Adam Lambert 15th.
IMAGE - Cam Bolton celebrates on the podium © OWIA/Lachy Keevers
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
NSWIS riders Alex “Chumpy” Pullin and Adam Lambert have just fallen short of reaching the semi-final round at the 2019 FIS Snowboard World Championships, after both finished third in their quarter-final heats at Solitude Mountain, UT, USA.
On a tight track, both riders faced difficult heats, and were unable to pass back into the top two required to advance before the finish line.
The result sees Pullin finishing with a final ranking of 9th, with Lambert in 11th.
After the event, Pullin commented.
“My day was going well until I was run wide in turn one into the fence."
“A real shame as I was feeling so good and having fun, but this is racing sometimes.”
“I’m as hungry as hell to get back to the World Cups now, Germany here we come.”
Also in action in finals for Australia was Cameron Bolton, who was unable to progress past the round of 32, finishing third in his heat, giving him a final placing of 21st.
Dual Olympian Cam Bolton said of his own performance.
“Well, I had a disappointing day at World Champs and finished in 21st. We have three more World Cups this season and I’m certainly looking for some redemption, next stop, Germany.”
Olympic Silver Medallist Jarryd Hughes unfortunately did not make it through to the 32-man finals, after finishing in 35th place during the qualifying stage.
A disappointed Hughes commented after the race.
“Well that was not the way I wanted my World Champs to go, out in qualifying!”
“I can’t describe how gutted I am, but that’s the way sport goes sometimes.”
I’m going to gather my thoughts and I’ll be cheering from the bottom of the track because it’s going to be an amazing race, but I’ll be back stronger than ever!”
The Snowboard Cross team will now head to Feldberg, Germany, for the next round of the World Cup tour on February 8-10.
IMAGE - Alex "Chumpy" Pullin in action during Qualifying at Solitude Mountain © OWIA/ Lachy Keevers
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
With the penultimate Snowboard Cross individual World Cup and team event completed in Moscow, Russia over the weekend, Alex Chumpy Pullin has strengthened his position in third on the World Cup Standings after finishing 8th and is currently on 5,016 points behind Pierre Vaultier (FRA) and Alessandro Haemmerle (AUT).
Finishing in 11th in the Moscow World Cup was Adam Lambert who now looks to be safely inside the top ten in the World Standings on 2472.20 points.
Together, Pullin and Lambert rode in the SBX team event, placing 13th, again picking up valuable points.
The FIS SBX World Cup tour will continue next weekend in Switzerland, where Veysonnaz is set to host the season's finals with an individual and a team event race from 16 to 18 March.
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.
For the first time since last year’s test event, Australia’s boardercross athletes were back on the Phoenix Park Snowboard Cross course today as they gear up to compete later this week.
Set to make his third Olympic appearance at PyeongChang, dual World Champion Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin said that apart from the unpredictable weather during Tuesday’s training session, “the layout was really good”.
“It was good, there’s been a little bit of wind around lately so that’s meant the speeds were different and the features can be different from one run to the next,” he said.
“I got a pretty good feeling in the track for day one and I’m looking forward to tomorrow, I think I’ll make a few small tweaks, analyse the weather a little bit mostly and see what sort of strategies I’ll start to toy with.”
While the forecast for Thursday’s event shows that the gusty conditions at Phoenix Park are set to subside, Pullin said that he’ll be spending the next few days analysing the weather and toying with new strategies as it’s “traditionally a very windy place”.
“It makes it a little bit more tricky with the tactics that you choose to play with,” he said.
“I’m going to have to be pretty flexible with my strategy.”
The 30-year-old said that the vibes so far in PyeongChang “have been really good”, remarking that the excitement and energy exuding from the volunteers was similar to the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.
On his teammate and Olympic debutant Adam Lambert, Pullin said that it’s been great “watching him progress so strongly”.
“The last year and a half has been really good, just getting used to working with each other’s strengths and then, in this situation for sure, just giving him a few heads up,” he said.
“Cam and Adam are riding really well.”
Fellow teammate and Sochi 2014 Olympian Jarryd Hughes, who is set to make his second Olympic debut at PyeongChang, said his first training session on Tuesday “was great”.
“Nick Roma has built a great track and it’s a lot of fun to ride,” he said.
“The track is built really well but it’s going to be very wind dependant as it’s an open track.”
The 22-year-old, who won gold at the Snowboard Cross World Cup in Montafon, Austria last December, said that he was “really happy to get a lot of really solid runs down”.
“I’m excited to compete, but at the moment I’m just ready for the first race to begin,” he said.
Sochi 2014 Olympian Belle Brockhoff was also on the course today less than two weeks finishing in the top 10 at the final pre-Olympic Snowboard Cross World Cup in Feldberg, Germany.
“It’s awesome, she’s made it just in the nick of time and it’s great to see her reach the Games,” Pullin said.
“It would’ve been pretty heart crushing not to see her get here. It’s awesome, it’s great to have her around [and] pretty cool that we’ve got the crew back together.”
The Australian men will take to the snowboard cross track on Day 6 (February 15) of the PyeongChang 2018 Games at the Bokwang Phoenix Park while Brockhoff, the Australian team’s only female boardercross rider, will compete on Day 7.
Australia's quartet of 2018 Olympic male snowboard cross athletes have had their second last dress rehearsal before PyeongChang 2018, taking on the final pre-Games World Cup in Bankso, Bulgaria.
Dual Olympian Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin was the top finisher of the Australians with a 5th place in the final, just weeks before the 30-year-old is set to compete at his third Olympic Games.
Sochi 2014 Olympian and 2018 Team member, Cameron Bolton qualifed through to the small final where a 3rd place finish saw the 27-year-old record a 9th place finish. The result was a season best for Bolton and his top finish since December 2015.
"I was happy with the race overall. I was having some trouble in the start section and I was pleased to make the necessary adjustments and lead both the small final and semi final," Bolton said.
"The race was a step in the right direction and i'm looking to keep building momentum at the next two world cups, leading into the Olympics.
"Bansko put on a great event and Bulgaria is my favourite stop on tour. It's an amazing place."
Despite being the 14th fastest qualifier, Olympic debutant Adam Lambert was disappointed with his Bulgaria World Cup, with the 20-year-old finishing 6th in his 1/8 heat and not advancing to the next round. Lambert ended the competition with a 41st place finish.
Fellow Australian rider Matthew Thomas finished in 22nd.
Sochi 2014 Olympian, Jarryd Hughes recorded the fastest qualification time in his second run heading into the finals but a crash in the initial time trial forced him to withdrawn from the event to be on the safe side.
"I messed up a jump in a time trial and ended up landing 30m further down the course than I intended and had nothing to land on," Hughes said.
"I suffered a bit of bone bruising in the process and decided it was best not to compete this close to the Olympics."
This week's World Cup sees the Australians all sit in the top 20 on the world rankings heading into the Olympic Games with Pullin in 2nd, Lambert in 7th, Hughes in 12th and Bolton in 18th.
Men's snowboard cross will be held on Day 7 (February 15) at the 2018 Olympics, with the top 40 competitiors in the world all vying for a top spot on the podium.
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.
There’s a quality about Jindabyne’s Adam Lambert, who Snowboard Cross head coach Ben Wordsworth described recently as “a perfect athlete”.
‘Lambo’ possesses a quiet resilience and focus on his burgeoning international career with a purpose that is laced with a willingness to learn, innate confidence in his own ability and a maturity that belies a young man just out of his teens.
“I know what I want to do and know what I have to do to get there,” Lambert said earlier this month. “It’s a matter of putting it together at the end.”
After breaking out of the Europa Cup circuit into World Cups last season, Lambert learned fast. His first World Cup result of 52nd was turned around in 24 hours to 7th in his second World Cup and ended last season with a sixth place in the World Championships.
The podium seemed not far away and that outcome was ticked off with a silver in last December at Val Thorens in France.
“It was pretty surreal,” he said of his first World Cup medal. “I’d raced on that course before and came in with a little bit of confidence. I felt it all day and made it to the finals.”
“Afterwards I was stoked. There’s always a twinge of ‘what if I’d done this’ but definitely it does heaps for my confidence knowing I can perform that well in a high-end event.”
Learning from his team mates, particularly Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, is valued by the young gun.
“Chumpy, especially, talks to me when I ask him about his path and how he got there. He tells me.”
“All the guys are fun to hang around with. They’re all really awesome blokes.”
“It helps that our sense of humour is pretty similar on the long drives we have to do every week, which is my least favourite part (the driving), but that’s OK. It’s just a really good group.”
Stepping up full-time onto the World Cup circuit has meant changes to his training, all of which he has embraced.
“The scale of training has changed. I’ve had a lot more on the courses. Before it was turns on mountains and now with these guys and the funding we have, we help organise the construction on the courses – a cost that is split with other countries.”
“Having the other guys (from OWIA) and NSWIS is great. We are all really good riders and it’s good to get out together to train. It all adds up. This is so much better.”
“This year there’s a lot more actual training time compared to last year. Last year we spent a lot of time driving from place to place. Every other day we were racing - having to squash Europa’s in. Not having to do that has knocked out about 16 races.”
“There are eight different locations that I don’t have to go to this year, which takes a lot of stress away and off my body. It’s good not to have to do that every week.”
Australia has a strong squad of riders in Snowboard Cross and only four can be selected for PyeongChang. Lambert is planning to be one of those four and already thinking about the Olympic course and how he can get the most out of the World Cup this weekend in Turkey before team selections are announced.
“It (Erzurum, Turkey) will be a good course and a copy of the Olympic start section.”
“I race my own race. I go into every race with a good plan with what I want to do and figure out the places I can consistently make passes. My tactical races are pretty good and I’m patient. I’m not rushing things.”
Coming from the NSW Snowy Mountains, Adam Lambert is not missing anything about a hot Australian summer. He is exactly where he wants to be.
“I’m a winter person. Anything above 32 degrees and I’m out.”
The Erzurum Snowboard Cross World Cup in Turkey qualifying round begin this Friday evening 6.30pm (AEDT) with finals on Saturday from 6.30pm (AEDT) and can be viewed live on Eurosport, or follow OWIA on Twitter here for updates on all the Aussies competing.
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.
Dual Olympian Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin remains on top of the World Cup Snowboard Cross rankings after winning bronze last night in Cervinia, Italy.
Pullin, who opened his season with a double gold weekend in Argentina, had retained his number 1 status despite electing not contest the finals at Montafon, Austria last week due to risky weather conditions.
Opening his Cervinia campaign in emphatic fashion and facing a large field of 79 riders, Pullin qualified in second place on his opening run, guaranteeing a top 16 seeding and entry to the 32-man final. Team mates Cam Bolton and Adam Lambert joined Pullin in the top 32 after hard racing in their second qualifying runs.
Pullin and Lambert both won their heats in the opening round of the finals and with Cam Bolton all moved through to the quarters, where Pullin again won but Lambert and Bolton were out in narrow thirds.
Experience and smart tactics in the semi delivered Pullin his third medal final of the season – an opportunity he was happy take.
“I had a good race and very happy to get a podium and continue to lead the world cup standings,” Pullin said.
“The conditions were challenging with high wind which changed the speed of the features, but I managed to keep a good rhythm and make it to the podium.”
The bronze medal win at Cervinia marks his 21st World Cup medal in an international career that began in 2007 and which has included back-to-back World Championship wins and Crystal Globes.
Cam Bolton had a return to the form and a result that he has been after for three seasons as the second highest qualifying Australian and final 10th place.
Like Bolton, Adam Lambert narrowly missed the semi-finals and finished overall in 12th.
Jarryd Hughes, who just five days ago won the Montafon World Cup, was disappointed to miss the top 32 qualifying time by 0.04 seconds, finding himself in 33rd position and out of the finals. Matthew Thomas placed 41st, Adam Dickson 52nd and Josh Miller 72nd.
The next Snowboard Cross World Cup will be contested in Ezerum, Turkey on January 19.
After coming out all guns blazing last season Australia’s Adam Lambert has proved that he’s a force to be reckoned with, finishing second in the FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup at Val Thorens, France overnight.
Lambert’s incredible result isn’t the only cause for celebration though, with the 20-year-old and his fellow OWIA teammate Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin having now taken out first and second places on the overall World Cup Standing.
“I’m super stoked, best result I’ve ever had,” a jubilant Lambert said.
“The whole day I was in second place, but those first few heats I was working pretty hard to get through. I was a bit slow at the start, I was in third and I was making my moves the last two, three turns but I got through.
“I feel like I raced really well and I backed up my qualification. Not quite the first place, but pretty close.”
The PyeongChang hopeful is the only Australian to have previously competed at Val Thorens, coming first in two of his races at the French resort during the 2016 Europa Cup.
Pullin said that he had a feeling on the morning of the finals that Lambert was going to have a great race day, especially after coming first in the qualifiers.
“He came in here, he’d raced here last year. He was feeling the groove early on in the track, put a lot of that into play, won qualifying convincingly and then this morning when we were just warming up, I looked over at him and I’m like, ‘Man!’,” he said.
“I didn’t want to jinx him but I was like ‘This kid’s got it, today he’s in the vibe’.
“I’m just so pumped for him. Since starting to ride with him, especially the last year, year-and-a-half when he’s been on tour he’s just really put in some good performances and this one especially.”
Sochi Olympian Cam Bolton placed 27th overall after coming fourth in his eighth final alongside fellow Australian Matt Thomas who came 16th. Meanwhile, after progressing through to the quarterfinals, Josh Miller ranked 11th.
Despite coming second in the qualification runs on Tuesday, a fall in his final meant that OWIA athlete Jarryd Hughes came in at 25th following the conclusion of the World Cup.
Following double gold in Argentina earlier this year, Pullin said that every single run for him at Val Thorens “was a challenge” but nevertheless, the two-time Olympian managed to gain enough points to keep him in the top spot overall after finishing sixth.
“And now in the rankings, the first ever in history Australia [is] one and two in the world – it blows my mind,” he said.
“I’m so happy and it’s just really cool because we put in a lot of work, we enjoy it, we love our sport. Everyone’s having a good time. Lambo’s comment that really turned my head this morning, he just said ‘I’m just buzzing man, look at what we do. It’s just so fun.”
Pullin raced in the finals against long-time rival and Frenchman Pierre Vaultier, who finished seventh.
“We’ve had an incredible rivalry throughout our time, met him in the second round and we went the whole way through,” he said.
“He didn’t make it to the [big] final either so it was really on my mind to beat him in the small final, which I got the pass at the last turn. I had to elbow the fence out of the way and make some room in the track and that’s really cool.”
The team will now have one day off before they’re back in the start gate again in Montafon, Switzerland.
The world's best boardercross athletes are ready to kick off their season in Argentina this weekend with qualifying tonight at the majestic Cerro Catedral.
Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, Jarryd Hughes, Cam Bolton and Adam Lambert will all be looking for a huge start to their Olympic season with back-to-back races from Friday night until early Monday morning (AEST time) on a 1,000 metres long technical course.
The Patagonian resort becomes the second ever in Argentina to organise a FIS Snowboard World Cup event since snowboard cross races were staged in Bariloche in 2008 and 2009.
Two-time world champion and 2017 World Championship bronze medallist Alex Pullin arrived in Argentina after winning the Australian New Zealand Cup tour at Mt Hotham in late August.
Jarryd Hughes says the conditions are excellent and he “can't wait for the first race of the season.”
Cam Bolton is very happy with the course saying, “Now that's a start section.”
Coach Ben Wordsworth is happy with his squad.
“The course and conditions in Catedral have been excellent. We had training yesterday, which went well and all the athletes are riding at a high level. The course is technical and that suits our athletes.”
He’s only nineteen years old, but Jindabyne snowboarder Adam Lambert came out all guns blazing last season with a breakthrough that landed him with an overall World Cup Snowboard Cross ranking of 22nd.
Not bad considering his first World Cup was not until February this year.
Certainly, he was born to ride and began snowboarding when he was 18-months old. It helps that his parents own and operate a snowboard shop in Jindabyne, NSW.
His ‘sudden’ rise to the elite end of Snowboard Cross doesn’t feel that quick to Lambert.
“The season before last I didn’t do the best that I could,” he said. “I choked and could have done much better – because I kept making stupid mistakes.”
“That season (2016/17) I learned to be resilient, then it all flowed.”
Lambert didn’t race in the first four World Cups in the 2017/18 season because he was yet to qualify at that level but after three podiums in the Europa Cup series, he was on his way.
“I got that,” Lambert remarked on his overall Europa Cup Snowboard Cross title after impressive wins in three out of five Europa Cups.
On his first World Cup appearance in February this year at Feldberg, Lambert is disparaging.
“On the first day (in Feldberg), I did terrible – 52nd. And to choke like that at my first World Cup was pretty rough.”
“I came back the next day though, qualified and won through to the second final (placing 7th).”
He went on to his second World Cup in La Molina Spain to finish overall sixth and onto his first World Championships, again in Spain, with another sixth.
As probably the shortest Snowboard Cross rider on the circuit at 170cm (5’7”), Lambert is nicknamed ‘nugget’.
“I’m called ‘nugget’ because I’m short and powerful,” he laughed. “Being shorter than the other guys is an advantage and a disadvantage.”
The advantage is his canny ability to find the gaps and then there’s the level of power required to excel in the rollers.
“When I’m riding rollers that are deep I probably have to work fifty percent harder. The most important part of the roller is the entry because if you mistime it, you’re in trouble.”
For the kid with a bullet who was into slopestyle until he was 15-years-old, Snowboard Cross didn’t enter his world until a few years ago.
“I had to give up Slopestyle when I was fifteen because I had a knee meniscus tear and for almost five months, I had nothing to else to do but sit on the couch. That time helped me in the end because I had previously enjoyed racing and did my first boardercross program when I was seventeen.”
Lambert’s first overseas event came in the 2014/15 season and just two seasons on, he thinks his chances to make the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games team as the third highest ranked Australian are “pretty good right now” and the rookie is “super proud”.
“The possibilities of making the Olympics sunk in three weeks after the World Championships (in Spain, March 2017) and I couldn’t sleep. I was so excited.”
The young gun lists Alex “Chumpy” Pullin and Cam Bolton as his heroes in the sport since he first met them three years ago.
“When I was fifteen I did my first FIS event and Futures Camp at Hotham, which Chumpy and Cam ran. They’re the top guys.”
His ultimate dream is to “win the Olympics. What else is there?” he said.
“I have put expectations on myself but I’m taking it one step at a time.”
International racing at the highest level has taught Lambert a thing or two. “You make friends pretty quickly when you win and people want to talk to you.”
Lambert has been training on home snow in NSW before his opening race of the season at Mt Hotham in August and then onto Argentina for the first-ever World Cup in Argentina in September.
To find out more about Adam Lambert, visit his OWIA Athlete Profile page at http://www.owia.org/adam-lambert.html
By Belinda Noonan OWIA
Finals day in La Molina, Spain yesterday dawned snowy, foggy and hard going.
When racing did commence in the pea soup conditions, NSWIS riders Alex Pullin, Cam Bolton and Adam Lambert easily made it through to the quarterfinals – with Pullin looking in particularly good form having led qualifying the day before.
Belle Brockhoff, who was holding a slim lead on the overall world standings over Eva Samkova (CZE), went head-to-head with the Czech Olympic Champion in the quarter finals and had to settle for second after a wild race in poor conditions.
Brockhoff struggled in the semis, finishing fourth and facing the small final, which she needed to win to preserve her number one World Cup ranking. It wasn’t Brockoff’s day with an overall final seventh placing. Eva Samkova went on to take second in the big final, boosting her total points to 4,370 overtaking Belle Brockhoff on 4,060 points.
In the men’s event, Pullin made a magnificent charge in the quarterfinals coming from behind with extreme speed, leaving the field in his wake and clinching a semi-final berth.
In only his third World Cup event, 19-year-old rookie NSWIS athlete Adam Lambert again impressed, squeezing his way through on the finish line to also make the semi-final. Cam Bolton finished third in his quarter and was unable to progress.
Jarryd Hughes, who had qualified in tenth position, did not start in the heats for the quarterfinals.
“I had a fall yesterday in practice and just pushed through the time trials,” Hughes explained.
Pullin’s semi-final ended in grief with a spill mid-course on a day when anything could have happened in conditions that presented challenges to athletes and officials. Pullin raced the small final with determination and skill, crossing the finish line first with fellow Aussie Adam Lambert in second.
The La Molina Men’s results ended with Pullin 5th, Lambert 6th, Bolton 11th and Matt Thomas 22nd.
The Men’s World Cup standings have not changed for Alex Pullin who remains in fourth with 2,790 points and Jarryd Hughes on 6th with 2,068. Cameron Bolton is sitting in 17th with 840 points.
Adam Lambert has charged into the top twenty, collecting points in each of his first three World Cups and is in 18th with 740 points.
The next Snowboard Cross event will be the World Championships scheduled for March 11 and 12 in Sierra Nevada, Spain with the first ever world championships team SBX event on March 13.
Following the World Championships, Snowboard Cross has one remaining World Cup in Switzerland from March 24 to 26.
La Molina in Spain is the second last stop on the Snowboard Cross World Cup circuit this season and will again feature Australia’s Belle Brockhoff who is the overall leader on 3,700 points ahead of Eva Samkova from the Czech Republic.
Both women have earned two wins and one second rank this season, respectively, and it's likely that the two dominating racers will play a major role on the 860 metres long course purpose-built on the Alabaus slope.
Alex “Chumpy” Pullin leads the Australian men in the world rankings at fourth, having taken the gold at the last World Cup in Feldberg, Germany. Pullin trails the leader Alessandro Haemmerle by 760 points.
Jarryd Hughes, who made it a one-two for Australia in Feldberg in mid Febraury by winning silver, is sitting in overall sixth position. Cam Bolton is currently in 20th and the up-and-coming Adam Lambert is in 32nd.
With only two more events of the World Cup season to come – the finals will be staged in Veysonnaz (SUI) the weekend after the world championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
The qualifiers for the penultimate Snowboard Cross World Cup event are scheduled for Saturday, March 4 at 7.30pm (AEDT) with the heat of four finals live on Eurosport on Sunday, March 5 at 9.30pm (AEDT).
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