Penultimate test for boardercross boys in Bulgaria
29 January 2018
SNOWBOARD CROSS: Australia's quartet of 2018 Olympic male snowboard cross athletes have had their second last dress rehearsal before PyeongChang 2018, taking on the final pre-Games World Cup in Bankso, Bulgaria.
Dual Olympian Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin was the top finisher of the Australians with a 5th place in the final, just weeks before the 30-year-old is set to compete at his third Olympic Games.
Sochi 2014 Olympian and 2018 Team member, Cameron Bolton qualifed through to the small final where a 3rd place finish saw the 27-year-old record a 9th place finish. The result was a season best for Bolton and his top finish since December 2015.
"I was happy with the race overall. I was having some trouble in the start section and I was pleased to make the necessary adjustments and lead both the small final and semi final," Bolton said.
"The race was a step in the right direction and i'm looking to keep building momentum at the next two world cups, leading into the Olympics.
"Bansko put on a great event and Bulgaria is my favourite stop on tour. It's an amazing place."
Despite being the 14th fastest qualifier, Olympic debutant Adam Lambert was disappointed with his Bulgaria World Cup, with the 20-year-old finishing 6th in his 1/8 heat and not advancing to the next round. Lambert ended the competition with a 41st place finish.
Fellow Australian rider Matthew Thomas finished in 22nd.
Sochi 2014 Olympian, Jarryd Hughes recorded the fastest qualification time in his second run heading into the finals but a crash in the initial time trial forced him to withdrawn from the event to be on the safe side.
"I messed up a jump in a time trial and ended up landing 30m further down the course than I intended and had nothing to land on," Hughes said.
"I suffered a bit of bone bruising in the process and decided it was best not to compete this close to the Olympics."
This week's World Cup sees the Australians all sit in the top 20 on the world rankings heading into the Olympic Games with Pullin in 2nd, Lambert in 7th, Hughes in 12th and Bolton in 18th.
Men's snowboard cross will be held on Day 7 (February 15) at the 2018 Olympics, with the top 40 competitiors in the world all vying for a top spot on the podium.