Home favourite Delian Stateff and Austria’s Lisa Perterer claimed their maiden International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Cup wins today after coming out on top in the respective men’s and women’s events in Cagliari in Italy.
The women’s race saw Perterer catch the United States' Taylor Spivey right on the line to triumph in the most dramatic of fashions.
Both athletes clocked exactly the same time of 1 hour 0min 13sec for the sprint-distance course, which featured a 750 metres swim, a 19 kilometres cycle and a 5km run.
"I didn’t know what I was thinking at the end," Perterer said.
"But I just kept telling myself; you can do this."
Great Britain’s India Lee finished a close third in 1:00:14.
Italy’s Verena Steinhauser, who ended up fourth, began to force the pace through the second transition with the Italian crowd powering her on and only Perterer, Lee and Spivey still having enough to go with her.
As the rest of the field became drained by the chase, the four leaders summoned the will for an intriguing final 400m.
Spivey was first to make the charge, only for Perterer to dig deeper still and break the tape first by a fraction of a second.
Australia’s Emma Jeffcoat, who was considered to be among the favourites for victory, had to settle for fifth spot.
In the men’s race, Stateff posted a winning time of 54:45 to beat nearest challenger Hayden Wilde of New Zealand by a margin of four seconds.
Fellow Italian Davide Uccellari finished third in 54:54.
Stateff looked somewhat off the pace going into the two-lap 10km run, but as the hill picked off the weaker legs, it was the 24-year-old who began closing in on Wilde and Uccellari, with Britain’s Barclay Izzard also remaining right in the hunt.
With two u-turn bends in the final 200m to contend with, Stateff managed to pull away from Wilde and kick on to secure a brilliant victory.
Australia’s Luke Willian came fourth with the US's Eli Hemming fifth.
A lightening run from Britain’s Alex Yee, a full 20 seconds quicker than anyone else in the field, saw him finish in eighth and one place behind Izzard.
Yee was making his return to the World Cup circuit having sustained serious injuries at a crash in Cagliari during last year's event.
He suffered broken ribs, vertebrae and a collapsed lung, but has since fought back to fitness.
Yee was crowned British 10,000m champion last month, showing his ability in the running discipline.
Russia’s Dmitry Polyanskiy, who won the last World Cup event in Kazakhstan's capital city Astana just two weeks ago, finished way down in 20th place.