Two-time world champion Chumpy Pullin: You will see pretty good battles
On the eve of the snowboard cross qualifiers we sat together with two-time world champion Alex Pullin (AUS) to find out what we can expect from the boarder cross race at the Sierra Nevada 2017 Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships.
FISSnowboard.com: Alex, today was training day on the snowboard cross course. How is it?
Alex Pullin: First of all, it's a really good length. We will running six men heats here, so plenty of action once the racing kicks off.
The course is a little bit soft but the banks are all holding up well, and I think it's got a good balance for goofy and regular riders.
Turn one is a bit better for the regular riders while turn two is really good for the goofy riders, and that's when the heats going to be sorting out. So, I think you will see pretty good battles.
A course overview from atop of the track © SBX Life
Anything in regards of race tactics?
Well, if you make some mistakes here, you misjudge something you can get potentially spat out of the track pretty quick before you know it. So, you might see a little bit of action, too.
So, I will be definitely try to stay up in front (laughs) and hopefully in the clear.
That's the key to success, we saw a lot of passing on all kind of courses this season?
I think so. The course is technical enough, and there is pretty much one really solid line through the track. So, I definitely will be looking for the hole shot and try to keep hold to the lead. That's definitely gonna be the best strategy for me.
Whom do we have to have on the list with a course like this, besides you?
Obviously I would be putting myself right up there (laughs). But yeah, Pierre [Vaultier] has been coming really strong over the last events.
Alessandro [Haemmerle] has been having a really good year, and Omar [Visintin] is racing really well. I'm not sure if the start section suits him as well, but he is a really good racer, and this year he has got the confidence up.
But I definitely have to mention that Hagen Kearny is looking really good because him like me also enjoys a technical start section. I have been doing some runs with him today, and yeah, he will be thinking the same thing as I'm.
So, basically it's the guys which have been dominating the World Cup season?
Well, you always can have surprises, especially in our sport. Everyone has got an opportunity, especially with the course being what it is, you know, full length and quite technical.
But I think that at this late stage of the season, there are some guys who have a little bit of a momentum.
It's been quite a tight title battle this year, no one has been coming out clearly dominating. I think that's good, and I think that everyone is still quite hungry to put a title like the world championships title in the bag.
Well, that's certainly what I'm thinking, and I'm sure that the other guys who have been having a good season so far are thinking exactly the same.”
Here is little course preview brought to you by 2015 Olympic bronze medallist Alex Deibold:
Qualifiers will start on Friday, March 10 at 11:15 AM with the men. Women's trials follow subsequently.