Path to PyeongChang: 67 days to go
Winter Sports

Path to PyeongChang: 67 days to go

04 December 2017 / 13:19

The countdown to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games is rapidly ticking away, with more encouraging performances from Team GB's hopefuls ahead of this busy weekend.

Just 67 days remain until next year’s excitement, with qualification hopes and World Cup medals up for grabs as each week brings its own shot at glory.

Each Monday we will look back at what British athletes have been getting up to during the last week and who to keep an eye on over the coming seven days.

Ormerod and Fuller impress on the snow

Katie Ormerod and Aimee Fuller both shone in Monchengladbach as the pair produced top-12 finishes in the Big Air World Cup.

Ormerod is a World Cup silver medallist already this season, backing up her Austrian form with a tenth-place finish in Germany – even if the judges didn’t agree with her assessment of the day.

“Top 10! The judges didn’t like my Cab 9 today but I liked it so who cares?” she posted on Instagram.

Meanwhile Sochi 2014 Olympian Fuller wasn’t far behind, finishing in 11th place at a venue that certainly had its tricky tests throughout.

There’s no time for rest for the Big Air team though, with the World Cup quickly heading to Copper, USA, this weekend.

The same can be said for entire GB Park & Pipe team, looking to hone in preparations at just the right time on the path to PyeongChang.

Musgrave hits the groove

Improving as the weekend went on in his previous outing, Andrew Musgrave kept on the charge at the Cross Country World Cup in Lillehammer.

Recovering from an expectedly tricky start in Friday’s sprint at the Ruka Triple the week previous, Musgrave this time wrote the wrongs from the start, with his skate finish a particularly pleasing note for the 27-year-old.

More significantly, the action doesn’t stop there for the cross-country competitor, with the weekend’s action soaring into Switzerland this weekend.

That will give him the perfect chance to build on his 13th-place finish in Norway, while another event could come his way in Italy before the small Christmas break.

Teams Deen and Hall bid to repeat the trick

Four years had passed since a British team had won a bobsleigh medal at a World Cup – but seven days ago saw a second secured in the space of a week.

A fortnight ago it was Brad Hall who claimed bronze in Park City, but Lamin Deen and co went one better last weekend in Whistler to grab silver – Britain’s best bobsleigh World Cup result since John Jackson won silver in Lake Placid in 2013.

Now the challenge will be reproducing the magic as the programme heads to Europe and Winterberg, Germany, the venue for the World Championships in 2015.

It was there where Team Deen came agonisingly close to a medal too, finishing just half a second away from third place, but the form guide suggests a medal is certainly in the reckoning for the British bobs.

Yarnold keen to bounce back in Germany

Reigning Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold didn’t enjoy the best weekend in Whistler, so will be desperate to bounce back when it comes to competing in Winterberg.

A mistake in her first run saw her 23rd overall without even getting a chance at her second effort – a fact she will want to address sooner rather than later.

For Ashleigh Pittaway meanwhile, this weekend will provide an excellent opportunity to build on what has gone before, while Laura Deas is also set to be in action.

The 17-year-old Pittaway qualified for a second World Cup run for the first time in her young career in Whistler, an experience that could prove invaluable as the next few months develop on the ice.

Positives key for returning Ryding

One moment can make all the difference in sport and British fans will be hoping Dave Ryding hasn’t been dwelling on his ahead of his return to the snow.

The men’s slalom returns following a break with Ryding already showing his form this season, leading following the first run in Levi, Finland.

He had also stretched his lead to half a second by the first timecheck of the second run in his bid to become Britain’s first alpine skiing World Cup winner.

But a crash put pay to the 30-year-old’s chances, now turning his attentions to Val d'Isere, France and one of a dozen World Cups before the Olympic Winter Games.

"It wasn't the best of days overall, but I took some positives from my performance," he said.

"It was a shame not to come away with some points, but sometimes slalom can be cruel."

Sportsbeat 2017

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