Victoria Williamson and Mica McNeill were fifth in Altenberg ©British Bobsleigh and Skeleton

Victoria Williamson has marked her debut appearance as a bobsleigh athlete with a fifth-place finish at the Europa Cup competition in Altenberg, following her switch from cycling.

Williamson announced her decision to switch sports earlier this month, after completing a successful training camp with the GB Bobsleigh team.

During her cycling career, Williamson won a 2013 World Championships bronze medal in the team sprint alongside Becky James, along with World Cup titles and a leader's jersey.

Williamson was forced to battle back from a serious crash in January 2016, which saw her break her neck and back and dislocate her pelvis.

She made her return at the Track Cycling World Championships earlier this year, but has now opted to switch to bobsleigh.

"Cycling has been a big part of my life since I was a teenager back when I came through the Girls 4 Gold Talent ID programme,” Williamson said.

"In a way I'm sad to be moving on from it, but equally I’m excited about what could happen in my bobsleigh career.

"My crash in 2016 changed my life, and although I would say it has inhibited my ability to excel to the top of the sport again, my athletic capability has still allowed me to continue in elite sport.

"I couldn't have got through it without the support I received from British Cycling, who funded my rehab and supported my return - I will always be thankful."

Victoria Williamson switched sports from track cycling to bobsleigh ©Getty Images
Victoria Williamson switched sports from track cycling to bobsleigh ©Getty Images

British Cycling performance director praised Williamson's resilience and determination, as well as her achievements in the sport.

"Vicky's cycling career has been nothing short of extraordinary," he said.

"Her mental and physical strength, determination and resilience are admirable and set her out as a true professional sportswoman who has inspired other athletes who face their own challenging injuries.

"But it's not just her remarkable recovery that stands out from her time on the programme, she retires from cycling with a palmares filled with world, European and national level podium results.

"The opportunity she has with the GB Bobsleigh Team is really exciting, we wish her well and I know the friends she's made amongst the riders and staff here at British Cycling will be cheering her on in her new challenge."

The 26-year-old has begun working with world junior champion and Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympian Mica McNeill.

The duo raced together for the first time at the Europa Cup in Altenberg, with the event in Germany marking her first race since the World Championships in February.

McNeill and Williamson finished in a combined time of 1 minute 55.46 seconds to end fifth in the event.