Path to PyeongChang: 31 days to go
Winter Sports

Path to PyeongChang: 31 days to go

08 January 2018 / 14:45

Everyone is back at work, the 12 days are over and 2018 is really kicking into gear.

The clock is ticking on preparations for the Olympic Winter Games and with just 31 days to go until the opening ceremony in PyeongChang, it is time for fine tuning.

It’s been a busy week on both snow and ice as the winter sports calendar kicked back into gear after a brief Christmas break and as ever there were plenty of Brits in action.

Musgrave hits new heights

The end of a gruelling week of cross country skiing, consisting of six races in nine days across three countries, where Andrew Musgrave picked up his best ever Tour de Ski result.

A lung-busting final stage in Italy saw the field take on a 9km climb that rose 425m from bottom to top, with Musgrave finishing 15th overall.

That leaves him 17th in the overall World Cup standings, with Andrew Young in 72nd after not racing the full Tour de Ski.

Rocket’s run ends in Adelboden

Dave Ryding came into the weekend’s World Cup in Switzerland with three slalom top tens to his name in his last three races.

A seventh at the mid-week race in Zagreb, Croatia, was preceded by a fourth in Oslo and sixth in Madonna de Campiglio.

But the slushy conditions in Adelboden saw Ryding struggle with his first run, clocking the tenth fastest time, before going all out at the second attempt and eventually finishing 12th – leaving him eighth in the slalom World Cup standings.

While in the women’s Alpine events Alex Tilley finished 28th in the Kranjska Gora giant slalom on Saturday.

Deen into top ten again

Lamin Deen guided his four-man bobsleigh crew into another top ten on the World Cup circuit – his fifth of the season from just six races.

Pushed by Nick Gleeson, Greg Cackett and Andrew Matthews, Deen was in 16th after the first run but drove his way to the fifth-fastest time of the second run – ending up tied for tenth overall.

And you didn’t have to look much further down the leaderboard to find the second British sled, with Brad Hall coming home 15th to secure his fifth top 15 World Cup finish in a row.

Those results leave Deen eighth in the overall World Cup standings, with Hall 12th in the four-man and 20th in the two-man after a 14th place finish in Altenberg alongside Toby Olubi.

Earlier in the weekend there was drama for Micas McNeill and Moore, as the two-woman team crashed dramatically in their second run – but still slid over the line to pick up 20th place.

And more importantly both sliders emerged from the sled unscathed to race another day.

Deas stays in the mix

With a place on the overall World Cup podium still firmly in her sights, Laura Deas notched up another top ten skeleton showing in Altenberg.

The Brit finished eighth in Germany, her fifth top ten finish of the six World Cup races so far this season.

That leaves her fifth in the overall standings on 1008 points, just 76 shy of Tina Hermann in third place.

Also racing was Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold, who finished 19th at the weekend – leaving her 12th in the standings – while Marcus Wyatt and Dom Parsons finished 14th and 18th in the men’s race.

Wallace continues comeback

Just a matter of months ago Lloyd Wallace was in an induced coma after a training crash but this weekend he made his second aerials World Cup appearance of the season – finishing 23rd in Moscow.

And there was more freestyle action in Calgary as Max Willis finished 21st in the moguls with Thomas Gerken Schofield 35th and sister Makayla 41st in the women’s event.

While in the biathlon World Cup Scott Dixon finished 87th in the 10km sprint, while Amanda Lightfoot was 90th in the 7.5km sprint.

The week ahead

A busy sevens days are in store as the short track speed skating European Championships get under way in Dresden, Germany, on Friday – with the five skaters selected for Team GB at PyeongChang 2018 all expected to race.

Elsewhere Dixon and Lightfoot will be in biathlon action at the Ruhpolding World Cup, while British moguls and aerials athletes will be hoping to build on their Moscow performances with another outing in Deer Valley.

And the sliding season shows no signs of abating with the penultimate World Cup race taking Britain’s bobsleigh and skeleton racers to St Moritz, while Dave Ryding will be in slalom action in Wengen.

We’re not done there, either, with Musgrave and Young taking to the Dresden hills for the cross country World Cup, and to top it off there are halfpipe and slopestyle World Cups in Snowmass for both boarders and skiers.

Sportsbeat 2018

Join the Team GB club today, check it out right here