Non Stanford celebrated a maiden World Cup victory in her first race in the format since 2011 after a sensational effort at the 2017 Chengdu ITU Triathlon World Cup earlier today.
The Rio 2016 Olympian has been no stranger to success but finally put her World Cup duck behind her to take glory in China in a time of 29 minutes and 36 seconds.
There was another podium debutant in the shape of Germany’s Laura Lindemann, while Kirsten Kasper of the USA rounded off the top three just six seconds off the pace.
But the day undoubtedly belonged to Stanford, part of the leading group right from the very first swim, though it was fellow British star Jessica Learmonth who left the water first in a time of exactly five minutes.
She was part of two large groups taking to the bike, though a quick second transition into the run saw Stanford take the lead for the first time, usurping China’s Chunyan Xiong soon into the 2.5km race finale.
And from there, Stanford never really looked troubled, with the 2013 ITU World Triathlon Series World Champion crossing the line first to take glory for the first time.
“It’s always great always to start the season with a win, but I was not confident until the end, because everything was so quick,” said the 28-year-old.
“The key thing today was to have good transitions – and I’m not known for my good transitions – so I just focussed on staying calm and getting out fast.
“I knew there were a few strong runners on the field today and that it could be a sprint finish, but I was quite confident in my ability and didn’t worry too much, and that helped a lot.”