Jonathan Brownlee admits confidence is high as he recorded back-to-back World Triathlon Series wins with victory on the Gold Coast, Australia.
Brownlee established a lead alongside Slovakian Richard Varga and the Polyanskiy brothers from Russia during the swim.
The quartet further cemented their lead during the 40km bike section despite the younger Polyanski brother, Igor, crashing out and forcing Brownlee to skilfully avoid hitting the barriers.
Brownlee did just that and maintained a 21-second gap over the rest of the field, including world champion Javier Gomez, and came home first to back up his previous victory in Auckland to extend his lead in the Series rankings.
“Igor crashed in front of me,” he said. “I basically had to jump over the back wheel and I thought I was down, and I thought everything was against us.
“We needed some more fire power, I needed Alistair, I was praying, ‘come on Alistair, come back from injury, come out of nowhere, I need you here.’ But Richard Varga was incredible. He gave everything, he kept that going and if it wasn’t for him it would have been all over.
“I think it’s [down to] confidence. After the start of the season I had an awful race, I said I didn’t want to make mistakes again. Today it started really well. I saw the four of us and thought lets be aggressive.
“On the run I knew they would take time out of me on the first lap, then I thought ‘be steady, and if I run 30:30 it’s going to take a great run for them to catch me’, and fortunately they didn’t.”
In the women’s race, Gwen Jorgensen achieved her eighth Series victory in a row and led a USA podium sweep along with Sarah True and Katie Zaferes. Britain’s Lucy Hall was 25th and Jess Learmonth finished her first Word Series event after leading out the swim.
British Triathlon Performance Director Brendan Purcell added: “That was indicative of the good work Jonny’s done over the winter, and it’s validation of what Alistair’s done as well, we just need to need to get him ready to race now.
“Jess finished her first WTS race, that’s good for the future, and good for the squad. Lucy is already talking to Ben [Bright] about where the improvements can come, and that’s what you want from an athlete. Obviously you want athletes on the podium, but you also want athletes who want to learn.”
© Sportsbeat 2015