Zoe Gillings believes she can challenge snowboard cross favourites Lindsey Jacobellis and Dominique Maltais and crack the podium in Sochi.
Gillings finished 15th in Turin and eighth in Vancouver and was Britain’s most successful Olympic snowboarder until Jenny Jones won slopestyle bronze.
She arrives in Sochi after a mixed season - with a fifth place at the World Cup in Montafon her best result - but she insists there is no cause for concern.
“A bit better results this season would have given me some extra confidence but every event has been training for the Olympics, this is the only competition that matters to me and this is the one I care about,” she said.
“Lindsey and Dominque are good at getting out at the start and establishing themselves over the first few features. It means they aren’t bothered by other people and they can get down the course in a quicker time. I sometimes manage to do that but just not as often.
“Cracking them is a challenge but they are not invincible, they definitely do make mistakes.”
Gillings was one of a handful of riders selected to practice elements of the course at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park yesterday and, so far, she likes what she sees.
“It’s quite a big course and that suits me,” she added. “I tend to do better on the bigger, scarier, faster kinds of courses. I just need to get down it as fast as I can but in one piece.
“The ideal conditions are freshly fallen cold snow but that’s probably not going to happen. We will deal with the conditions, it’s not that big a deal.”
© Sportsbeat 2014