Nicoll steps up after seat switch
Adele Nicoll’s move from the back of a bobsleigh to the front takes another step forward this week as she makes her World Cup debut as a pilot in Igls.
The 27-year-old switched seats at the start of this Olympic cycle after travelling to the Beijing Games as Mica McNeill’s reserve brakewoman on the back of a World Cup silver medal in Sigulda in January 2022.
She only competed as a driver for the first time in November of last year, racing in the monobob on five occasions and just once in the 2-woman discipline, but she has already kicked on significantly this season.
Nicoll finished fourth twice and seventh in the opening three Europa Cup monobob races in Norway earlier this month before winning a superb bronze medal with debutant Kya Placide in the 2-woman event at the same track.
It meant she headed to Austria in confident mood as she gets set to step up to top-tier competition for the very first time in a monobob double header this Friday and Saturday.
“I’m very happy with how Lillehammer went. It’s great to have that behind me coming into my World Cup debut,” said Nicoll, who is also the reigning British Shot Putt Champion.
“It’s a bit of a confidence builder and it means I know I’m not a million miles off the mark of those World Cup girls.
“Coming into my second season as a pilot, I had only sat in a 2-man sled around December last year so to be getting results and medals and wider podiums in that event is really special. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do with that this season.
I’m also really happy and proud of where I finished in the monobob: I got two fourths and, even on a bad day, I came seventh. Last year, sixth and seventh was my best day. It just shows the progress that has been made.
“It’s all about managing your own metrics and realising that it’s all part of a process. The better you get, the bigger your expectations become, but two fourths in a world-class field is something I was really happy with. The girls that were above me were two-time Olympians and World Cup pilots so I’m very proud.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do here but, to be honest, I’m just enjoying the sport. I put a lot of hard work in over the summer and the winter season is a big commitment being away from home for five or six months. I’m focussed on enjoying the competition but, hopefully, I can come away with some respectable results and be proud of the performances I put in.”
Adele Nicoll makes her first World Cup starts as a pilot this week
Nicoll races at 7.30am GMT on Friday and 9am on Saturday in what is the final World Cup competition before Christmas.
Nikki McSweeney pilots the GB sled in the 2-woman event at 9am on Sunday, with the men’s bobsleigh team returning to competition for the first time this season after significant injuries to Brad Hall, Arran Gulliver and Greg Cackett.
Hall and Taylor Lawrence represent GB in the 2-man race at 12.30pm on Saturday before the 4-man event takes place at the same time on Sunday. The crew won’t be pushing at full pace, however, as they ease their way back into things and their focus is therefore on getting down healthy rather than on challenging for positions at the top of the leaderboard.
There is also Skeleton action in Igls, with the men’s race scheduled for 10.30am and the women’s for 2.30pm on Friday.