Non Stanford returned to the top of the podium for the first time since 2019 with an impressive performance at the European Championships in Munich as she stormed to victory in the women’s race.
Coming off the back of winning silver for Wales in the Mixed Relay at the Commonwealth Games, Stanford was hungry to showcase her strength over the standard distance in the individual race.
The 2013 World Champion looked strong through the swim and came out of the first lap in sixth place before heading into transition one in fifth place.
Fellow Brit Sophie Alden led the way out of the swim and they both got out onto the bike pack with seven others including Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) and Laura Lindemann (GER).
Stanford remained in the lead pack throughout the 40km bike leg and after being in the top three settled in to seventh place to conserve energy.
Alden found herself involved in a crash and was forced out of the race in the first lap while Iona Miller lay in 33rd place.
It was on the run where Stanford showed her experience, she came out of transition two in fifth place and watched as Beaugrand, Lindemann and Emma Lombardi (FRA) led out the first lap and carved out a lead of seven seconds.
Through the second, Stanford began to hunt the leading three down and joined them as a lead group of four.
With two laps to go, the Commonwealth silver medallist made her move and pushed to the front before building a gap of almost ten seconds on Lindemann and Lombardi.
Stanford went into the final half of the lap looking in good form and knew the finish was within her reach.
After a masterful run, Stanford took the tape with rapturous applause from the German crowd, Lindemann came home in second place with Lombardi in third.
“it's a complete surprise if I'm honest," Stanford said. "This is actually my last ever World Triathlon race, I'm retiring this year and 2011 was the first time I represented Great Britain at a European Champs so it's quite fitting that this is the last time I will ever represent Great Britain. To come away with gold is absolutely beyond my expectations.
"I had a terrible second transition, something was wrong with my bike and I got really far behind and I thought I just have to stick to my own pace here because it's such a hard run course. I just gradually found myself moving through the pack and next thing you know I was at the front. It was quite unexpected."
Missy Morris finished in 27th place while Iona Miller crossed the line in 36th overall.
About British Triathlon - BritishTriathlon.org
British Triathlon is the National Governing Body for triathlon and multisport in Great Britain, and the home of swim, bike, run. Its vision is to create great experiences for everyone in swim, bike, run and to develop an environment that makes Britain the world’s leading triathlon and paratriathlon nation; enabling success and increasing participation. Triathlon is a fast growing, dynamic and modern Olympic and Paralympic sport with talented world class athletes, coaches and support staff, focused around delivering world-class success and inspiring participation.
Great Britain is home to multiple Olympic and Paralympic medallists, including Jonny Brownlee (Tokyo 2020 – mixed relay gold; Rio 2016 – individual silver; London 2012 – individual bronze), Georgia Taylor-Brown (Tokyo 2020 – mixed relay gold and individual silver), Alex Yee (Tokyo 2020 – mixed relay gold and individual silver), Jess Learmonth (Tokyo 2020 – mixed relay gold), Lauren Steadman (Tokyo 2020 – PTS5 gold; Rio 2016 – PT4 silver), George Peasgood (Tokyo 2020 – PTS4 silver and C4 [cycling] bronze) and Claire Cashmore (Tokyo 2020 – PTS5 bronze).
British Triathlon is a beneficiary of the UK Sport Lottery funded World-Class Programmes (WCP) (UKSport.gov.uk). Full profiles of British Triathlon’s UK Sport funded athletes are available here - BritishTriathlon.org.
British Triathlon works alongside the Home Nations (Triathlon England, Triathlon Scotland and Welsh Triathlon) to promote participation and awareness of swim, bike, run activities across Great Britain in local clubs and events throughout the year.
British Triathlon is committed to equal opportunity to making the world of swim, bike, run open and inclusive for all. The organisation is committed to being a leader in sustainability and has signed up to ‘Race to Zero’ and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The British Triathlon Sustainability Commission was established in 2021 to help direct the sport towards a sustainable future.
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