Along with Pullin, Brockhoff and Hughes Australia’s Snowboard Cross team for Solitude includes Cam Bolton and NSWIS riders Matt Thomas, Adam Dickson and Josh Miller.
The event, to be held from 19 to 21 January, will be the second World Cup for the 2016-17 season and the first major international snowboarding competition Solitude has hosted.
That the course will be new to all competitors could well suit the Australians according to OWIA head Coach Ben Wordsworth.
“We’ve never raced at Solitude before and because it’s the first World Cup on that slope, we don’t know what the course will be like,” Wordsworth said.
“We have very high-end athletes such as Alex and Belle who are very good in the technical area.”
“Belle really likes the big rollers, jumps and banks and she’s skilful in that area,” he said.
Belle Brockhoff triumphed in a thrilling and exciting snowboard cross World Cup opener in mid-December at Montafon in Austria, winning her second career gold in a photo finish in what she described as a challenging course.
After a short break over the Christmas period in Australia Belle re-joined the OWIA Snowboard Cross Team in Ski Cooper, putting in valuable preparation.
"I had great preparation this week for the upcoming world cup in Solitude and I’m looking forward to the racing this week and starting 2017 strong," Belle said.
Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, who began his season in Montafon with a third place, says he is on track for this weekend’s event.
For Wordsworth, results count. “We’re staying focussed on what we need to do, which is to get results.”
21-year-old Jarryd Hughes, already an Olympian from Sochi, had a great start to his season in Montafon despite being injured, qualifying second and making it to the final where he ended up fourth overall.
“Qualifying second was really a confidence-booster and great way to come into the season,” Hughes said.
“In the run-up to Montafon I was injured (with bone bruising) and only had 12 days on snow the entire month and that included all the race days.”
Time at home after Montafon provided the youngest team member of the OWIA Snowboard Cross team time to recover, relax, train and enjoy a bit of summer.
“I’d be lost without the beach and the snow.” he said. “I was training at home after I got back, but it’s also good to relax and enjoy the summer while I can.”
“I left for Utah on January 10 with a few extra days to acclimatise and be with a few other riders to make sure I’m physically and mentally ready for Solitude. I like to focus on what I’m doing.”
“Some people have a whole lot of plans,” he said when asked what it’s like to stand waiting at the start gate. “I go in without a set race plan and let what I want to do take over. I trust my instincts.”
“There’s a lot of intensity at the start gate and it’s the people who best deal with it that continue on.”
OWIA athlete Cam Bolton is looking to improve on his season opener.
“Cam is healthy and has trained hard over the Australian summer,” coach Wordsworth said.
“He’s definitely one of our fastest riders. It was unfortunate in Montafon that he was hit by another rider in the quarters and went out."