(Reuters) - France's Vincent Luis defended his title to be crowned the men's World Triathlon Series (WTS) champion for a second time while Briton Georgia Taylor-Brown took gold in women's race at the one-off event in Hamburg on Saturday.
The champion is usually decided after a series of events in the WTS calendar but with the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling all other events this year, the race in Hamburg became the standalone world championship.
Luis was in the lead group along with compatriot Leo Bergere and Portugal's Vasco Vilaca on the home stretch of the men's race before the 31-year-old surged ahead with 300 metres left and finished with a time of 49 minutes and 13 seconds.
Vilaca finished second for silver, two seconds behind Luis, while Bergere finished third a further three seconds behind as the two triathletes celebrated their first ever WTS podium finishes.
"I knew I was in good shape and I've spent the last six weeks doing a lot of sessions with some of the best guys in the world," Luis said.
"I had the two young guys with me on the run so I was a bit scared but pushed the pace with one lap to go. I'm so happy for Leo that he took the third spot. That was a great race for France."
Briton two-times champion Alistair Brownlee was the first triathlete out of the water after the 750 metre swim in Lake Stadtpark.
However, he was soon overtaken on the 20 km bike ride which included six laps. Following the five-kilometre run to the finish, the two-times Olympic gold medallist finished ninth.
In the women's race, Taylor-Brown was in the chasing pack at the start of the second leg before moving into the lead group alongside American defending champion Katie Zafares.
However, Taylor-Brown took control in the final sprint to win the race in 54 minutes and 16 seconds -- nine seconds ahead of Bermuda's Flora Duffy who finished second while Germany's Laura Lindemann took the bronze.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)