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.