Spain’s Mario Mola and Jodie Stimpson of Britain continued their impressive runs of form by winning the men’s and women’s races respectively at the opening International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Cup event of the season in Mooloolaba in Australia.
Mola, the current world number one, and Stimpson had come into the competition on the Sunshine Coast off the back of commanding victories at the World Triathlon Series in Adu Dhabi last weekend.
The Spaniard was pushed all the way by compatriot Vicente Hernandez in the men's race but was able to hold off the challenge of his team-mate, crossing the line in 52min 55sec.
Hernandez was just five seconds adrift in the silver medal position and Portugal’s Joao Pereira earned bronze to clinch the final spot on the podium.
“I tried to be in the best position possible for the whole bike, I knew we were going to be a big pack… I think at that point I like fourth or fifth, but the guy just in front of me crashed and I just couldn’t stop, I just tried to stay on my bike,” Mola said.
“But luckily when these things happen and you are in the front, you can still draft from the guys behind - if I had been further back in the pack I would have struggled to get back into the race.
“It’s a great atmosphere, it’s my favourite race here and my second win.
“In 2014 I was able to get it too, so I think I’ll be back again.”
Stimpson, gold medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and runner-up in the World Triathlon Series in 2013, set the platform for another triumph as she was part of the 10-strong group which broke away on the bike.
The 27-year-old then kicked on in the running section of the race to wrap up a commanding win in a time of 58:31.
Home favourite Emma Moffatt was 17 seconds behind as the Australian sealed silver, with American Kirsten Kasper taking home bronze.
“It’s great to back to back in Mooloolaba, it’s like a home race, I’ve spent a lot of time here since 2009 and you know I’ve got quite a lot of friends here,” Stimpson said.
“It’s a nice feeling to be back here.
“I got second last time I was here to Annie Haug, so it’s nice to get the win.”
The next ITU World Cup event is scheduled to take place in New Plymouth, New Zealand on April 4.