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Lambert lands on his first World Cup podium at Val Thorens

14 December 2017

SNOWBOARD CROSS: 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 now sitting 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.

Dave Barden

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