“I am delighted with that,” said Brownlee afterwards. “I just said to myself with a couple of minutes to go, no-one can push harder than me so, if they’re going to beat me, they’re going to have to go really deep.”
It was to be Germany’s Justus Nieschlag and Mark Devay of Hungary first out of the water, however Brownlee was hot on their heels and the trio were joined by Ryan Bailie (AUS), and Sylvain Fridelance (SUI). A lead group of twelve riders then formed, and carved out a 12-second advantage by lap three.
Brownlee left T2 in first place and ran stride for stride with Germany’s Justus Nieschlag and Kevin Mcdowell of the USA for the first 4km. He continually pushed the pace until Mcdowell was dropped and Nieschlag had to settle for second, one second adrift of the winner.
“He (Justus) was there on the swim, pushed it on the bike and is a real all round triathlete,” said Brownlee. “It was great to see, but I am delighted to be back and in the sharp end of a race. As for what’s next, I am still sitting on the fence. I have European Championships in two weeks and Leeds the week after that. I’ll see where that leaves me in three weeks’ time.”
In the women’s race compatriot Sophie Coldwell delivered an incredible performance in Cagliari also take the gold medal, ensuring two golds for Great Britain. Beth Potter was the fastest on two feet by some margin; sprinting home to take 6th place and second Brit. Jodie Stimpson finished 7th and Kate Waugh was 25th.