Medals & PBs in Bobsleigh Opener
Adele Nicoll and Kya Placide won Europa Cup bronze in their first race together; Corie Mapp kicked off the Para Sport season with silver; and John Stanbridge and Adam Baird recorded the best results of their careers to date in a busy week of racing for our bobsleigh teams.
With the GB1 men’s crew missing the opening race of the World Cup season in Beijing through injury, Lillehammer played host to the first bobsleigh action of 2023/34 for the British programme with three lots of women’s monobob, women’s bobsleigh, 2-man, 4-man and para races across a seven-day period.
Having twice finished fourth in three monobob races on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nicoll claimed her first medal as a pilot in just her second season in the front seat.
The reigning, back-to-back British Shot Putt Champion teamed up with 19-year-old Placide to make the podium on the latter’s international debut as they clocked the fastest start in the second run and third quickest in the first. They followed that up with a fifth-place finish on Tuesday, before Maddison Ilsley took over in the back seat and finished sixth with Nicoll on Wednesday.
Mapp took second spot behind Latvia’s Arturs Klots in the first of eight Para World Cup races this season on November 30 as he looks to win a second Overall World Cup crown following his triumph in 2018.
The former Lance Corporal, who had both legs amputated after his military vehicle ran over an explosive device in Afghanistan in 2010, has now won no fewer than 29 World Cup medals since debuting in 2015.
Mapp finished fifth in the second race of the season 24 hours later and now heads to Sigulda with the rest of the British team for Race 3 and 4 on December 16 and 17.
There was also success for pilots Stanbridge and Baird, who both achieved their first wider podium places of their careers.
Stanbridge twice finished sixth in three 2-man races in Norway alongside debutant Jens Hullah, while Baird placed sixth in Race 2 alongside another brakeman in his maiden international race week, Leon Greenwood.
Baird was seventh and eighth in his two other 2-man races alongside Greenwood and Alex Cartagena and Stanbridge was ninth with Calum Dixon.
That strong form continued into the 4-man competition on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday as Baird finished ninth twice and 11th and Stanbridge placed 10th, 11th and 13th despite only having five 4-man races’ worth of experience between them.
Nikki McSweeney and Willa Gibb were ninth in two of their three women’s races and 10th in the other, while Josh Hudson's first competitive outing in the front seat saw him place 19th (twice) with Ali Kay and 15th with Antony Harvey.
The next instalment of Europa Cup racing is a quieter one for the team, with just the two days’ of racing compared to the six this time around.
With Sigulda not suitable for 4-man competition, there’s monobob and 2-man action at 10am GMT a week on Saturday and women’s and 2-man races the following day.
The para bob athletes compete earlier in the morning on both days, with Mapp set to slide from 7am our time.