As the only snowboard cross athlete to make both finals contested this season, the Australian Institute of Sport athlete jumps to number two in the world, just 20 points behind the leader, Italian Omar Visintin.
Given the nightmare lead up to today’s World Cup, Pullin showed enormous maturity and grit to power his way into second place, ahead of Canadian Christopher Robanske in third.
It was not until 3am on race day that his equipment arrived at Telluride, a result of an airline mishap.
Throughout the week Pullin trained on borrowed boots and bindings and had to deal with the mental strain of working out how to cope with the possibility of racing with untried equipment that was not entirely suited to his needs.
But despite the difficult preparation, Pullin’s performance in Telluride was excellent – a fast qualifying and wins in each of his three knock out races leading into the final.
As well as praising Pullin’s photo finish in the final, AIS snowboard head coach Ben Wordsworth was thrilled by the 25-year-old Victorian’s quarter final and semi-final, when he defeated Wescott in both races and also former World Champion Markus Schairer in the semi.
Coming from third place in the semi, Pullin mounted a charge in the closing stages of the race to maneuvre his way to the lead.
“Chumpy really stepped up today and showed real professionalism,” Wordsworth said.
“The mental strain that he faced when the bags went missing for four days was something he dealt with but it was difficult.
“Today was a great result and now we have our eyes firmly on the World Championships. That’s the one we want. ”
Pullin now heads home to Australia for Christmas before going back to Canada to continue his preparation for his World Championship defence, a title he won in 2011, at the Canadian resort of Stoneham from January 17 to 27.
Pullin’s fellow snowboard cross squad members and NSW Institute of Sport scholarship holders, Andy Fischer, Cam Bolton and Jarryd Hughes also impressed during qualifying, posting times in the top 32.
However, each of the three failed to advance past the first knock out final with Hughes in 23rd place, Fischer in 24th and Bolton in 29th.
In the women’s draw Australia’s Belle Brockhoff was unable to continue her medal winning form from a week earlier, missing the quarter final cut to finish 22nd.