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Stimpson storms to World Series victory in Auckland

April 6, 2014 08:51 am

Jodie Stimpson made a winning start to the World Triathlon Series season with a determined victory in Auckland.

Stimpson finished just ahead of Germany’s Anne Haug while British team-mate and former world champion Helen Jenkins, in her first major race since the 2012 Olympics, took third.

And Olympic bronze medallist Jonathan Brownlee claimed another podium place for Britain with a second behind Javier Gomez in the men's race.

“That is definitely one of the toughest courses, that’s what the Kiwis are known for, they are awesome riders and it was great to be in a breakaway with those girls," said Stimpson, who finished second behind team-mate Non Stanford, absent through injury, in last year's world rankings.

“I wish Non (Stanford) could have been here, I hope she gets back quickly and joins us on the start line, but I’m chuffed with today, I couldn’t be happier.” 

In the absence of Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee, his young brother and Gomez ran together until the closing stages of the 10km run when Gomez broke away and had the luxury of being able to jog up to the finishing line to take the win.

“It’s always going to be a similar race (with Gomez). It’s the first race of the season and it actually really killed me, he had more than me, he’s obviously in great shape," said Brownlee.

“I want to do the Commonwealth Games and I know I can’t be fit all the way through the season.”

British Triathlon performance director Brendan Purcell was delighted with the three medal return from the opening race of the season, also highlighting Grant Sheldon’s 12th place finish in his series debut.

He said: “It’s a promising start to the season. The seniors have picked up where the left off at the end of last season, and I’m unbelievably happy to see Helen Jenkins finish on the podium.

“What we’re really happy about is these younger athletes coming through and putting up a performance. It was a tough field and they were right up there.”

The next round of the series takes place in Cape Town, South Africa later this month, with Alistair Brownlee among those lining up.

© Sportsbeat 2014