ON THE UP: The two GB bobsleigh teams with the medals gained at Park City, Utah. Middleton’s Alan Toward is back row, centre
ON THE UP: The two GB bobsleigh teams with the medals gained at Park City, Utah. Middleton’s Alan Toward is back row, centre

DALE bobsleigh racer Alan Toward achieved his first podium finish last week.

The 26-year-old athlete, who switched from the discus to the high speed winter sport in the summer, was part of the GB four-man sled driven by Brad Hall which grabbed silver in a North American Cup race at Park City, Utah, last Wednesday (November 21).

They were just 0.03 of a second behind the gold medallist foursome from the Czech Republic.

In an earlier race on the same day, the crew finished fourth, 0.58 seconds behind winners Monaco.

Great Britain’s other four-man bob, piloted by Lamin Deen, posted second and third places in the Park City races.

Alan, from Middleton-in-Teesdale, said the whole GB team was in buoyant spirits after Park City, which came hot on the heels of the first round of North American Cup races at Whistler, in Canada.

He said: “Park City was a good experience.

“The track and facilities were good, so it was a lot of fun when sliding.

“The track wasn’t quite as fast and rough as Whistler, so the G-force wasn’t as bad either.

“Generally the weather was quite good so we managed to get some solid training sessions done on and off the ice.”

Old Well

He added: “Training has been going well. We keep improving our team pushing, which is slowly coming along as we work together more.

“We’re still doing lots of gym and sprint sessions, which are quite tough at times but we’ve got a good team beside us, so we’ve got lots of support from the other athletes and coaches.

“The results (from Park City) for the whole squad were really positive. Obviously we would have all liked to win but we were only +0.03 from the winner which is a positive sign.

“We’re starting to build momentum and confidence every race.”

The bobsleigh circuit has now moved on to Lake Placid for the last round of North American Cup races in the four-man bobsleigh.

The teams will train at the venue before taking to the ice for two races on December 2 and 3.

He explained: “This track is quite different again to the others.

“It’s very busy, with lots of corners so it’s a really technically challenging track.

“We’re confident that Brad can pilot us into a medal position again, with a strong push from all of us at the top,” said Alan.

Once the Lake Placid races have taken place, the GB team is due to head back to Europe, where several titles are up for grabs.