Jonathan Brownlee showed that he’s returning to form after a period of illness and injury. Fourth place at the ITU World Triathlon Hamburg was very nearly third, or higher. Non Stanford and Jodie Stimpson also finished in the top ten as a new star, Cassandre Beaugrand of France, announced her presence on the global triathlon scene on Bastille Day.

Brownlee finished fourth after breaking away on the bike leg of the sprint distance triathlon with Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) and Vincent Luis (FRA). The trio established a lead by the end of the 20km bike section, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Mario Mola (ESP) and Richard Murray (RSA) catching them.

Blummenfelt dropped of early into the 5km, clutching his side as if he had a bad stitch and eventually finished 44th. Brownlee and Luis ran together but the green trisuit of Murray was in vision behind them and moving rapidly.

However, it was Mola who appeared to have got the pacing spot on and he claimed his third Hamburg victory in a row. He stretches his lead at the top of the Series rankings and looks to be on course to retain the world title.

The women’s race started with a typical Jessica Learmonth swim. She exited first after 750m and got into a lead group which also included Georgia Taylor-Brown and defending world champion, Flora Duffy (BER). They stretched the lead out to 30seconds before the chase pack caught them, driven by Jodie Stimpson and former Olympic Champion, Nicola Spirig (SUI).

Spirig and Stimpson emerged first out of the bike to run transition but 21 year-old Beaugrand soon took the lead, striding away comfortably with grace and speed. Germany’s Laura Lindemann was inspired by the home crowd to take second and Katie Zaferes (USA) took third to stretch her lead at the top of the Series rankings. Duffy wasn’t at her best having missed the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds through injury and finished 10th.

Non Stanford was the best of the British women in sixth, closely followed by Stimpson in seventh. Taylor-Brown finished 11th, Learmonth 14th and Holland was 22nd after a minor crash on the bike course held her up. She is, however, up to second overall in the Series standings with continued good prospects overall.

Stanford said: “The bike was really chaotic; the girls were racing aggressively in a good way, and that shows by the second group catching. Overall, I’m happy and everything is going in the right way.”

She added: “It’s disappointing Vicky had a crash as she’s in great shape, but we’re really pleased with how we’re doing as a team at the moment.”

Tomorrow sees the Mixed Relay World Championships take place with Great Britain lining up for this exciting new Olympic discipline at 1:30pm UK time.

Full results HERE.

Series rankings HERE.