SWINDON slider Craig Thompson says the opening round of the new World Cup series this weekend will give him an indication of his standing in the sport.

The 26-year-old heads to Lake Placid in New York State to begin his first full season in the sport’s top tier.

Thompson has plenty of pedigree behind him as he prepares to make the step up, having claimed an overall silver medal on the secondary Intercontinental Cup circuit last season.

Having got his first taste of World Cup racing at the same venue back in February, Thompson cannot wait to get his maiden full season up and running.

“I made my World Cup debut in Lake Placid, so it will be a really good chance to see where I actually stand within the rankings,” said Thompson.

“I can say: ‘Last year I finished here, now I am here, so I need this to push on into the top 10’.

“I will be aiming to get top 10 and every run you do you aim to win. Being realistic, if I can finish top 10 in most races, I will be more than happy with that.”

Thompson earned his place as one of Team Great Britain’s World Cup sliders after finishing second at the country’s selection meeting at Lillehammer in Norway.

Due to the dangerous nature of the sport, doubts can start to creep in as a new season ticks around after a lengthy lay-off.

However, Thompson says any cobwebs have already been brushed off and his build-up to the opening round of the new campaign could not have been smoother.

“Every season, you always go in thinking about what if you are not as good as you were last year,” said Thompson.

“It is a unique sport in that you have six months off and then go into it again.

“You start battling in your own mind the month before the season starts but as soon as you get onto the sled, you get back into the swing of things.

“You think: ‘I was at this level last year, let’s see where I am now compared to the other nations’ and try to kick on.

“Going out to Lillehammer and finishing second in the selection races was great.

“I wasn’t aiming for the World Cup place or the ICC. It was a case of: ‘Wherever I place, that’s fine’.

“I am really happy to have placed second and go to the World Cup.

“As far as I know, the preparations have been straightforward and there have been no major hiccups.

“It has been really good and I am looking forward to starting now.”