Vicky Holland stormed to her first-ever World Triathlon Series victory in Cape Town - and admitted she was shocked.
Commonwealth bronze medallist Holland, on her return from injury, came home ahead of American Katie Zaferes and Olympic champion Nicola Spirig while British team-mates Helen Jenkins and Emma Pallant both secured top ten finishes.
Former world champion Jenkins, in her first race since July, was up with the leaders after the swim, which was shortened to 750m because of cold weather.
The British trio worked together on the bike but it was during the run that the race fractured. Holland hit the front with two kilometres to go and then ground down Spirig and Zaferes to claim the race and her best finish at this level since a fourth place in Stockholm two years ago.
"I didn’t think I could win it," she said. “I felt good in training and I thought a podium was a potential outcome for today if I executed everything perfectly.
“I didn’t feel like I swam well, my goggles filled up right at the beginning and I went way off course on the swim so coming together on the bike was a bit of a relief and I thought ‘well, we’ll just see what I’ve got on the run’.
"I’m absolutely thrilled to come home first.”
Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee is set to race in Cape Town on Sunday, marking his return from an ankle injury and his first ITU World Triathlon Series race of the year.
Jonathan Brownlee is the current Series leader but has opted to sit out of this and the next round in Yokohama.
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