Injury misery as bobsleigh racer is ruled out for season
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
DALE bobsleigh racer Alan Toward is out for the season after suffering a nasty foot injury while competing just before Christmas.
The 27-year-old broke metatarsals in a foot during a four-man Europe Cup bobsleigh event at Konigssee, in Germany, on December 21.
The crew was lying 14th but had to withdraw from that event as a result of the injury.
“I slipped while pushing in our last race before Christmas,” said Alan, from Middleton-in-Teesdale.
“I’m now back in the UK for the season. I'm going to need an operation, so it could be a few months before I’m walking again.”
With no funding for medical support available to the GB bobsleigh team, he will undergo the operation on the NHS.
However, one of his sponsors is a physio who will help with rehab once the cast comes off his injured foot.
Alan’s crew, piloted by Olympic veteran Brad Hall, has been blighted by injury this season.
Hall crashed in the opening race of the two-man bobsleigh season at Lillehammer in November, putting him out of action until December.
Then another of the first choice crew members, Sam Blanchet, was also forced out of the sled through injury.
Alan and Blanchet have been replaced by rookie Luke Dawes and Royal Marine Taylor Lawrence, who have joined returning Olympian Greg Cackett and pilot Hall – and despite a lack of time on the ice together, have begun the new year’s World Cup races in encouraging fashion with two top ten finishes at Winterberg, in Germany.
These represent Hall’s best four-man finishes for more than two years.
The new-look quartet was back in World Cup action last weekend at La Plagne, in France, where they finished eighth to better the previous week’s efforts.
Greg Cackett said: “The first part of the season was blighted by injury for the boys. That meant we couldn’t make some races and couldn’t pick up points in others.
“We know it’s a rookie crew so we’ve had to alter our expectations. We’re seeing this season as a development one now in the four-man but we’ll be doing our best to make the most of the situation.”