By Michael Pavitt

Spain's Tamara  Gomez Garrido claimed her first ever ITU World Cup win ©ITUSpain's Tamara Gomez Garrido secured her first ever International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Cup victory in the season opening event in Mooloolaba, Australia, while France's David Hauss took the men's spoils in a close fought race.

Gomez Garrido had competed at the opening World Triathlon Series event of the season last week in Abu Dhabi and kept herself in contention after the 750 metre swim and 20 kilometres bike portions of the race.

A lead group of 16 had been established in the first half of the bike leg but was brought back, enabling Gomes Garrido to make the decisive move on the five kilometre run.

She broke away from her nearest challenger Amelie Kretz, to take victory in 1hour 01min 42sec, ahead of the Canadian who finished as the runner up in 1:01:46, while Australia's Ashleigh Gentle claimed third in front of a home crowd with a time of 1:02:01.

"I'm very happy for the win today," Gomez Garrido said.

"It was very important for me, last year I was injured all season and I couldn't really race.

"So this is a great start to me, and I'm very happy because I'm trying to qualify for the Olympic Games so it's very important to me."

France's David Hauss took victory in the men's event in Mooloolaba ©ITUFrance's David Hauss took victory in the men's event in Mooloolaba ©ITU

A breakaway proved to be unsuccessful in the men's event, Argentina's Luciano Taccone and Britain's Thomas Bishop caught on the run, after the duo had held a 20 second advantage on the field after the bike leg.

Hauss overtook the pair on the run and edged out home favourite Jacob Birtwhistle to take the opening World Cup win of the season in 55min 21.8sec.

The Australia was just two seconds adrift to take second in 55:23.1, while Spain's Vicente Hernandez rounded off the podium in 55:30.6.

"It's really my best race, it's been like seven years I'm looking for this victory," said Hauss.

"Today I got the win and it's perfect," the 31 year-old stated.

The Mooloolaba event was the first of seven World Cups to be held this year, with New Plymouth in New Zealand set to host the next stop on the circuit on March 22.

The event will come just a week before Auckland in New Zealand is set to stage the second ITU World Triathlon Series event of the season, from March 28 to 29.

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