Sochi 2014 - Home of the 2014 Australian Olympic Winter Team

SNOWBOARD CROSS: Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin says he's prepared to forgo a chunk of the World Cup season if required, the snowboarder to adopt a no-risk strategy to best position himself for a gold medal tilt at the Winter Olympics.

Australian Pullin, who has headed to Europe to begin training for the northern hemisphere season, will go to the Sochi Games in February as his country's best hope given he's a two-time world cup winner/world champion in snowboard cross.

But he says serious race time isn't a prerequisite to pull it off.

"There are a couple (of races) on the schedule this year where I am thinking, if conditions are good, that will be a good race but, if they aren't, it could actually be quite risky," said Pullin.

"But the beauty is we can play each event as it comes.

"I'm not going out with the intention of winning the overall World Cup this year. I'm going out there with the intention of winning an Olympic gold medal. If I skip an event, it is in preparation for the Olympics."

As a 22 year-old in 2010, Pullin qualified first with the fastest heat time at the event, creating a sudden surge of interest that he could claim a gold medal in Vancouver.

But the head-to-head racing quickly brought him undone, Pullin crashing out in the opening race.

He puts that down to a lack of experience but says he doesn't mind the fact that the pressure will be even more intense this time, his outstanding results over the past three years ensuring his favouritism for the rough and tumble event.

"That's all part of the show," he said.

"You can't think about winning a gold medal without thinking about everything else that goes with it. At the moment, I feel like I am exactly where I want to be.

"The parts that I can't control I just see them to enjoy. I can't control what people's expectations will or won't be and you can't control what other riders are going to do prior to the Games or even during the heats when you are there. But that's the beauty of my sport."

Pullin, raised in Mansfield, Victoria, a feeder town for Mt Buller, joined a burgeoning list of athletes to establish a base in Sydney's north, moving to Dee Why before heading to Europe.

The area has become something of a hotbed of winter talent with the likes of halfpipe riders Nate Johnstone and Holly Crawford and ski cross exponents Jenny Owens and Sami Kennedy-Sim having a base on the north shore or beaches.

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