Performance adviser Andi Schmid admits anticipation is high as a very different looking British skeleton team get ready for the World Cup curtain raiser in Lake Placid.
Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold leads the British team into the opening World Cup of the season in the USA but there are some notable absentees.
Olympic silver medallist and 2012 World Cup champion and 2013 world champion Shelley Rudman is currently expecting her second child and won’t be racing.
And Kristan Bromley is in the process of going through rehabilitation from injury meaning two of Britain’s most consistent recent performers on the tour are missing.
Bromley was Britain’s leading male on the World Cup series last season, finishing 11th, and at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, finishing eighth.
The British team isn’t short of experience though, aside from Yarnold, with Dominic Parsons racing in Sochi and winning bronze at last year’s World Cup curtain raiser in Calgary.
Ed Smith competed at all bar one World Cup leg last season while Rose McGrandle joined late – Laura Deas will make her series debut though after winning the selection races in Winterberg.
The World Cup series will take in Lake Placid and Calgary before heading to Europe in the New Year and performance adviser Schmid is excited to see what his athletes deliver.
“Those that have been selected have been waiting a while for racing to begin, particularly Lizzy, Laura and Dom, and everyone is excited for the World Cup to start. We have a strong team and it’s an important year being the first of the new Olympic cycle,” he said.
“With no Shelley, as she is expecting her second child and Kristan, who has been ruled out as he goes through rehabilitation from injury, we are seeing the new generation, and I am really excited to see them compete.
“The women’s squad are also all together again after coming through the same group in 2009 which is great. We have our new World Cup coach, Eric Bernotas, so we are looking forward to seeing how the new team will work together.
“The preparation we’ve had so far has been good, now we are looking forward to the competition getting underway.”
© Sportsbeat 2014