World Triathlon Series: Jodie Stimpson powers to opening round victory in Auckland

Stimpson took her second ever series win with fellow Briton Helen Jenkins in third while Jonathan Brownlee took second in the men's race

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The Independent Online

Britain's Jodie Stimpson powered to victory in the opening round of the World Triathlon Series in Auckland on Sunday.

Stimpson was in determined mood from the start and a breakaway on the bike set up her second ever series win.

Simpson began the run phase with just New Zealand's Nicky Samuels and Kate McIlroy for company and, at the 1.25km mark, she left them in her wake as she drove on to a convincing win.

Fellow Briton Helen Jenkins, in her first major race since London 2012, took third behind second-placed German Anne Haug.

Stimpson said: "That is definitely one of the toughest courses. I wish Non (Stanford - missing through a foot injury) could have been here, I hope she gets back quickly and joins us on the start line, but I'm chuffed with today, I couldn't be happier."

Jonathan Brownlee took second place in the men's event after doing battle with Spain's reigning ITU world champion Javier Gomez.

After closely matching each other on the swim and bike, Brownlee and Gomez ran together until the closing stages of the 10km run when Gomez broke away and had the luxury of being able to jog up to the finishing line to take the win.

Brownlee said: "It's always going to be a similar race (with Gomez). It's the first race of the season today and it actually really killed me, he had more than me today, he's obviously in great shape."

He added: "I want to do the Commonwealths and I know I can't be fit all the way through the season."

Brownlee, whose older brother Alistair, gold medallist at London 2012, is set to take part in the next round of the series after recovering from an ankle problem, said: "I'm pleased he's (Alistair) not here today because he would have made that bike ridiculously hard, but he'll be back for Cape Town."

British Triathlon performance director, Brendan Purcell, was pleased with the performances of young British triathletes, including Grant Sheldon's 12th place finish in his series debut.

He said: "It's a promising start to the season. The seniors have picked up where the left off at the end of last season, and I'm unbelievably happy to see Helen Jenkins finish on the podium.

"What we're really happy about is these younger athletes coming through and putting up a performance. It was a tough field and they were right up there."