BRITISH bobsleigh’s top brass were “very happy” with Mica Moore and Mica McNeill’s eighth place at the opening World Cup event of the new season in Lake Placid.

Brakewoman Moore, from Newport, and driver McNeill clocked a time of one minute 55.26 seconds over two runs in the first of eight races prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The result saw McNeill, who drove consistently in both runs to record the eighth fastest time twice, come close to equalling her best World Cup finish of joint seventh.

The duo’s times of 57.50 and 57.76 seconds saw them finish 0.27 seconds outside the top six and 0.66 seconds off a bronze medal.

Canada’s reigning Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries took gold with Melissa Lotholz, while America’s Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs secured silver ahead of German World Cup rookie Stephanie Schneider and Lisa Marie Buckwitz.

“That was a fantastic performance from Mica and Mica and a great way to start the season,” said GB Bobsleigh performance director Chris Price.

“We were looking for a top-10 finish as that’s important when it comes to ranking spots for the Olympics and they were comfortably inside that.

“The coaches are certainly very happy with the performance and the result.

“They were very consistent at the start with 5.64 and 5.65 push times and Mica (McNeill) was equally consistent throughout with her driving.

“It’s Mica’s best start to a World Cup season and it gives her and Mica (Moore) a very good platform to kick on from for the rest of the year.

“I know they both have a very positive relationship with Lee (Johnston, head coach) and it’s good to see their hard work pay off here after a strong set of training results as well.”

McNeill and Moore were competing in New York after raising more than £30,000 through public donations as a result of their funding being withdrawn.

Meanwhile, reigning Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold started the skeleton season with a bronze medal in Lake Placid, as fellow Brit Laura Deas finished fifth.

Yarnold, who is attempting to become the first Briton to retain a Winter Olympic crown following success at Sochi 2014, finished 0.33 seconds behind winner Janine Flock of Austria.

The 29-year-old sat fifth after the first of two runs in a time of 55.35 seconds, before producing the second quickest effort of run two in 55.11.

It was a similar story for Wrexham’s Deas, who jumped up from eighth at the halfway mark thanks to the third quickest run of the second heat.

Canada’s Elizabeth Vathje took silver, with Russia’s Elena Nikitina sandwiched between Yarnold and Deas in the first of eight World Cup races prior to February’s Olympics in Pyeongchang.