December 4 - Britain's Shelley Rudman (pictured) secured her first World Cup gold medal of this season, in a stunning return to the Cesena track near Turin where she won her silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Despite battling flu-like symptoms and a slight hip injury, Rudman threw down the gauntlet to her competitors with a strong first run which saw her hold a 0.23sec advantage over second placed Marion Trott of Germany.
Her competitors came back at her in the second run, but Rumdan pulled out a track record run of 58.71 to win by over 0.3 from Trott second and Canada's Melissa Hollingsworth.
The win moves Rudman, who was using a sled developed as part of the Formula Ice programme by fiance Kristan Bromley's company, Bromley Technologies Ltd, to the top of the World Cup standings after three rounds and will give her a massive boost in the run-up to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver next year.
Rudman said: "I am so happy with this result and to take gold and beat the track record is such a fantastic feeling.
"I had two really consistent runs but manage to clean up the second to gain the extra speed.
"A gold, here after my Olympic silver at the last Games, is a real step forward and I still have to keep the focus."
Rudman, 28, took time out of the sport after Turin to have a daughter with Bromley.
She said: "Having Ella out here has really helped me to relax and keep focused and my feet on the ground.
"I will enjoy today then Its back to the programme and the next race."
The next round of the World Cup takes place in Winterberg, Germany, on December 11,