Aussie gold and bronze in Snowboard Cross World Cup
17 December 2016
SNOWBAORD CROSS: The winter wonderland dream results continue for Australia with Belle Brockhoff and Alex (Chumpy) Pullin winning gold and bronze respectively in the opening World Cup of the Snowboard Cross season in Montafon, Austria overnight.
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 Sochi 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 bonze medallist Chloe Trespeuch coming through the second time-gate, Brockhoff had to work hard to take back her lead in the final, but claimed victory in the end and 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 tight field was another tough obstacle 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, qualifying second with Chumpy sitting in 11th after their first run. 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, with Hughes unfortunately a DNF to finish 4th 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, 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 hears and made some great racing moves to get that podium.”
The only other Australian to qualify, Cam Bolton, progressed through his eight final but couldn’t move out of the quarters, finishing 15th overall.
The athletes will break over Christmas in preparation for the next World Cup event in USA starting January 19.