Skeleton - McGrandle determined to be surprise package in Sochi

Rose McGrandle is determined to overcome last year's disappointments and become this season's surprise Olympic package.

The one-time hockey player turned skeleton slider is one of five British athletes hoping to earn one of three spots on this year's World Cup team - a crucial first step on the road to Sochi selection.

But competition is tough with reigning world champion Shelley Rudman, former world bronze medallist Lizzy Yarnold, experienced campaigner Donna Creighton and rising star Laura Daes also in contention in a powerful British team.

However, McGrandle is determined to force herself into contention.

"I know it's obtainable, I know I can breakthrough, get the results and fast track myself onto the World Cup circuit and hopefully the Olympic team," she said.

"I know the progression I'm making is good and I've never had a better summer of training and I've never been better prepared for the season.

"I'm not putting pressure on myself but I feel I should be performing at the World Cup level."

McGrandle, who joined the British programme in 2009 and made her competitive debut one year later. has been a consistent podium performer on skeleton's second tier Intercontinental Cup circuit.

However, she knows her 2014 ambitions could be decided next month, when British team officials hold a series of crucial selection races.

"Last season my selection races were a disappointment to me and that's just made me more determined," she added.

"It would be very difficult to push yourself back into the Olympic team if you don't make the initial World Cup squad.

"I know it's not impossible, the door wouldn't be totally shut and there is a still a route but it's just not my plan.

"You need to be at the top of your game, if you are one of the best in Britain it follows you are one of the best in the world.

"The internal pressure makes it almost easy to compete on the world stage in some ways and that's a good thing."