MELKSHAM-BASED slider Laura Deas has been confirmed in Great Britain's women's squad for the opening skeleton World Cup races of the season in the United States.

The 29 year old, who was 10th in February’s World Championships, joins reigning Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold and Youth Olympic champion, Ashleigh Pittaway in the three-strong team.

Dom Parsons, who is currently ranked No10 in the world, leads the men’s challenge, with Jerry Rice and Jack Thomas also included on the back of their debut World Championships last season.

“The selection races were really competitive all round and that’s exactly what we want to see in an Olympic season,” said GB Skeleton’s Head of Performance, Danny Holdcroft.

"The strength in depth in the programme is something we’re really proud of and we have genuine medal contenders on all the international circuits.

"That bodes well, not only for Pyeongchang but also for Beijing 2022, especially given that we’ve also got another nine new sliders out in Norway right now after they joined the programme this summer.

"Lizzy, Laura and Dom have been in the mix for medals for a number of years now, while Ashleigh has already been on the podium in ICC and EC (Europa Cup) races despite being just 17 years old.

"Having the Olympics on the horizon is a massive incentive for the squad and you can already see how much it means to them all.

"It’s the pinnacle of our sport and I’m pleased to say that we are in a really good place as we get ever closer to the Games.

“Not being selected for the opening World Cup races doesn’t mean that the Olympic dream is over, though.

"Selection for the first part of the season was based on our eligibility criteria as well as ranking so there could well be changes to the makeup of the squad during the year.

"We always assess selection mid-way through the season as well.''

The World Cup season kicks off on November 9 in Lake Placid in New York State, before moving west across America to Park City and then on to Whistler in Canada.

After returning from America in the last week of November, the team begin their European leg of the season with World Cup 4 in Winterberg on December 9.

They race once more before Christmas in Innsbruck, before heading to Altenberg, St Moritz and Konigssee prior to February’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where Yarnold is expected to defend her title.