Britain's skeleton chief urges World Cup momentum
With the best in the world set to converge on South Korea for the Olympic Winter Games in less than 100 days' time, Britain's skeleton camp are itching to get their World Cup season off to a flying start.
GB Skeleton Performance Advisor, Andi Schmid, has urged athletes to create momentum ahead of the championships in PyeongChang, starting at the World Cup in Lake Placid, New York on Thursday and Friday.
Olympic, World and European champion Lizzy Yarnold will spearhead Britain's chances in the women's skeleton, with Laura Deas and Ashleigh Pittaway also set to feature from Thursday.
Yarnold, the reigning Olympic champion, claimed bronze at last season's World Championships in Koenigsee, while Deas ended last World Cup campaign sixth. Pittaway, meanwhile, won Youth Olympic gold in 2016.
Dom Parsons, Jerry Rice and Jack Thomas will all go in the men's skeleton on Friday, with the trio, who finished eighth, 16th and 19th respectively in February's World Championships.
"While Olympic medals won't be won in week one, it is important that we get off to a good start," said Schmid.
"We want to build momentum and confidence and it would be great to be able to do that right from the off.
"Both Lizzy and Laura have shown that they know how to win at this level and we want them to be challenging for medals on a regular basis in the lead up to the Games.
"Dom has been consistently in the top 10 this Olympic cycle, while both Jack and Jerry impressed at the World Championships in February and we hope that the prospect of competing in PyeongChang will bring out the best in them."
Elsewhere, in the bobsleigh, Mica McNeill and Mica Moore will compete in the women's competition, hoping to replicate the form which won them Junior World Championship gold in Winterberg, Germany in January.
McNeill also piloted her way to three top ten World Cup finishes last season. In the two-man bobsleigh, Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon will be looking to build on Britain's best World Championship finish after their claiming fourth in Igls in 2015. Toby Olubi and Brad Hall make up the other sled.
GB Bobsleigh performance director, Chris Price, added: "This isn't just about feeling good about being back on ice - this is about trying to put ourselves in the best possible position to perform out in Pyeonchang in three months' time.
"We know we need to produce from the outset to give ourselves strong starting positions at the Games as results in the World Cup races will determine our Olympic ranking and the quality of ice we'll get in South Korea."