Australia’s own world number one Snowboard-X rider Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin had to be content with second place in the FIS Australia New Zealand Continental Cup SBX event at Hotham today.
Chasing his eighth National Championship, the reigning world champion and World Cup winner was gallant in defeat, delivering high praise of 18-year-old Shinya Momono, the current Japanese junior Snowboard-X champion, who backed up his third place in the series opening event yesterday with a win today.
American Michael Perle finished today’s five-nation action packed final in third place behind Pullin who took the silver trophy.
Pullin was impressed by the racing maturity and talent shown by the young Japanese rider, predicting that Momono is likely to be an athlete to watch carefully during the next World Cup season in Europe and North America.
Pullin was also pleased by the achievements of his 20-year-old Australian teammate, Cam Bolton, who has been mentored by the world champion and Australian Institute of Sport Snowboard-X head coach Ben Wordsworth during the last few months.
Bolton was deprived of certain victory in today’s thrilling men’s final when he crashed in the last turn of the race. Pullin said that the sight of Bolton crashing was the last thing he wanted to see.
“I actually felt my heart drop when I saw him (Bolton) go down because I knew how he would be feeling,” Pullin said.
“In the last corner unfortunately Cam felt the heat of the Japanese rider, me and the American rider. We were all pretty much tip to tail at that point and he just caught an edge. He rode like a true champ today and throughout the whole competition.”
The Australian team now heads to Cardrona, New Zealand, for the final leg of the FIS Australia New Zealand Continental Cup in two weeks.
In the women’s final, Australian athletes occupied all three podium positions, a feat that was also achieved yesterday. Belle Brockhoff, great-niece of Hotham skiing legend Joyce Brockhoff, finished in first place with a clear run to the finish. Melbourne snowboarder Amanda Taylor took the silver podium while Hotham rider Alexandra Lockie placed third today after her top podium win in the series opening event yesterday.
See the events page for the full results listing.
Image: Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin, Shinya Momono and Michael Perle receive their trophies.
07 August 2011