BOLTON skeleton racer Jack Thomas has been selected to compete for Great Britain at the highest level in the world this season.

He is one of six men and women called-up for the World Cup series which starts next month with races in North America.

The 27-year-old from Westhoughton has worked his way up through the two lesser categories of skeleton racing – the Intercontinental Cup and Europa Cup – during his career to reach the top World Cup level.

With the Winter Olympics now less than four months away, he will be looking to impress Games selectors in North America and build on his debut World Championships last season

In a team of three men who will be representing their country in the series of competitions he will join forces with world number 10 ranked Dom Parsons and Jerry Rice.

The ladies’ trio will be headed by Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold.

“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.

“Jack and Jerry both finished in the top 20 at this year’s World Championships and have shown they have the potential to push on this season.

"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.“

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 North 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.