Britain's Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee put a troubled start to his season behind him in Kitzbuhel today as he won his third European title - and then warned those who had begun to write him off as a competitor that he had still got "plenty left".
The 26-year-old Yorkshireman's chances of winning this year's International Triathlon Union World series have been undermined by a calf injury which forced him to miss the first two races of the season, and he could only manage fourth place in last month's race in Yokohama.
He also drifted out of contention over the final kilometre in the four World series run in London three weeks ago.
But Brownlee, who has prioritised adding a Commonwealth Games gold this year to the Olympic and world titles he has already earned, insisted after running clear of Russia's Dmitry Polyanskiy that he was still a potent force in the event.
"I have been very fortunate to do well in triathlon and for those who were thinking that Alistair Brownlee was finished and his best days were over, I'm glad I can say that I have still got plenty left," he said.
"I have had some rough couple of months, but I have had so many good days that I can't complain about the bad days.
"In the run I felt strong and held on quite well. I'm getting better with each race, but I'm still not at 100 per cent of my full potential."
The men's race was held in warm sunshine - dramatically different conditions from the rain and wind which had forced out almost 20 competitors in yesterday's women's race.
For Brownlee, who finished 27 seconds ahead of the Russian in 1 hour 54min 08sec, the experience was almost entirely positive.
"I love racing in Kitzbuhel," he said.
"I have participated here six times and this was my fifth win, and I'm always welcomed here by such a great and warm crowd.
"This was not my best day here. I prefer last year's hilly course.
"After some big fights in the swim I was happy to be on the bike.
"I tried three or four times to break away but with no luck."
As a result, a lead pack of 53 athletes entered T2 and after a swift transition, Brownlee immediately opened up a decisive gap in the run.
Polyanskiy and Vicente Hernandez of Spain won the battle for the medals.
"Vicente started sprinting first, but I tried to keep up and in the last 100 metres I just closed my eyes, gave it my all and put in a big sprint finish," Polyanskiy said.
"So yes, I am pretty excited to win the silver medal."
For Hernandez this was a first elite championship medal.
"I have to admit that Polyanskiy worked harder than me today so he's the deserved silver medallist," he said.
"But I couldn't be happier with my first elite podium.
"I am happy with my performance today.
"I started sprinting first and maybe it's my lack of experience.
"I still have room for improvement, so I will definitely be back, battling for more medals."
The European men's junior title went to France's Raphael Montoya, with team-mate Max Hueber-Moosbrugger taking bronze behind Antonio Serrat of Spain.
Montoya finished strongest from among the pack of 30 athletes who had arrived at the final transition stage together to go one better than he had managed at the last European juniors.
"I was hoping to win here as a revanche for my silver medal last year," he said.
"In the final section of the run the three of us stuck together.
"Antonio wouldn't let go but I didn't panic and hoped that my sprint would be fast enough."
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