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Alis­tair Brown­lee smashed the com­pe­ti­tion at the Columbia Thread­nee­dle World Triathlon Leeds (June 12) – de­light­ing the fans who turned out in their thou­sands to roar him on to vic­tory.

Younger brother Jonathan won sil­ver in a clear demonstration that the Brown­lee boys are back.

Af­ter a hard 1,500m swim in Wa­ter­loo Lake at Round­hay Park – a light­ning-quick Alis­tair blasted his way out of tran­si­tion and sprinted up the first pun­ish­ing hill, tear­ing the field apart.

As Alis­tair held back the lead pack, look­ing over his shoul­der for his younger sib­ling, Jonathan was able to join him but even so he was no match for his brother by the time they set off on the run.

Look­ing in his best form since the ITU World Triathlon Lon­don last May, the Olympic Cham­pion ran through the 10km look­ing smooth, strong and in con­trol.

He said: “Thank you Leeds! The peo­ple ab­so­lutely made it to­day. We had sup­port like I’ve never known it.

“I think we’ve shown that Leeds loves sport; that’s by far the best World Se­ries crowd there’s ever been. I know split tran­si­tions are a tricky thing to get right, but my god it’s worth it.”

Sil­ver medal­list Jonathan said: “You’re al­ways go­ing to strug­gle to beat Alis­tair on a day like that. He’s that good, es­pe­cially on a hard course.

“I wanted to slap as many hands as I could in the crowd, but I was just too tired. The race was sim­ply in­cred­i­ble. To have all those thou­sands of peo­ple watch­ing round the course was a dream come true.”

In the women’s race the USA’s Gwen Jor­gensen showed her prow­ess as she clawed back a huge time deficit and snatched vic­tory from Flora Duffy (BER) in a nail­bit­ing run.

Bri­tain’s Jess Lear­month and Lucy Hall de­lighted the crowds by main­tain­ing the lead with Duffy for the whole 40km bike sec­tion be­fore be­ing run down by the chase pack in­clud­ing Jor­gensen, Vicky Hol­land and Jodie Stimp­son.

As Duffy claimed sil­ver a bat­tle un­folded be­tween Hol­land and Stimp­son for bronze – with Hol­land clinch­ing the sprint fin­ish.

Stimp­son’s fourth place strength­ens her pur­suit of the ITU world ti­tle. Only Duffy is ahead of her now. She said: “To win the ITU World Triathlon Se­ries would be fan­tas­tic, but it will def­i­nitely be a chal­lenge. Flora and Gwen are do­ing fan­tas­ti­cally and it will be tough to get onto that podium at the end of the year, but that’s the goal.”

Non Stan­ford and Jess Lear­month fin­ished in­side the top 10 to com­plete a suc­cess­ful day for the Bri­tish women.

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