ITU World Triathlon Series: Mario Mola wins with Jonny Brownlee fourth in Hamburg
Spain's Mario Mola produced a superb run to win the Hamburg World Triathlon Series event as Great Britain's Jonny Brownlee was edged down to fourth.
Mola was 22 seconds behind Brownlee, France's Vincent Luis and Norway's Kristian Blummenfelt off the bike.
But the 28-year-old won in 53 minutes 24 seconds, with Luis second and South Africa's Richard Murray third.
France's Cassandre Beaugrand won the women's race ahead of Germany's Laura Lindemann and American Katie Zaferes.
It was a first Series win for 21-year-old Beaugrand, who was 28th in the 2018 rankings before the Hamburg event, with Lindemann 10th and Zaferes top ahead of Britain's Non Stanford.
Beaugrand pushed hard early on the run to pull clear of a bunched pack after the bike leg and took the win in 58 minutes six seconds.
She burst into tears as she crossed the line, half a minute ahead of Lindemann, with Stanford and fellow Briton Jodie Stimpson sixth and seventh respectively, 39 and 42 seconds behind the winner.
Brownlee edged out as Mola shines
Brownlee, who was 34th in the men's rankings having only competed once this year because of persistent injuries, pulled out of last month's Leeds event during the race with illness as a host of athletes withdrew either before or during the event.
But in Hamburg he raced strongly throughout and pushed the pace on the bike with Luis and Blummenfelt to open an early gap. By the end of lap three on the six-lap bike course the three held a 24-second advantage over the chasing pack.
Mola and Murray - who won the last WTS event in Leeds - caught the leaders by the midway point in the 5km run, as Blummenfelt slipped backwards.
And in the end Mola's relentless running proved too much and Murray bettered Brownlee to ultimately force the Briton into fourth, four seconds off the podium and 12 behind Mola.
The Spaniard now has two wins in this year's Series following his success in Yokohama in May and looks well placed to win his third straight world title at the Series' Grand Final on Australia's Gold Coast in September.
"I tried not to let them make a gap but they worked very well on the bike and there was a lot of work to do on the run," Mola told BBC Sport.
"I'm very happy with how things have gone but I know from experience that, until the end, it is not decided, so I have to keep doing my work and be at my best by September."
'Positive Brownlee day' - analysis
BBC Sport analyst and former international triathlete Annie Emmerson
"What a race for Mola. Luis and Brownlee did all they could but in a sprint you will only build so much time over the faster runners.
"It's good to see Jonny Brownlee up there fighting it out with the top athletes in the world. It's very positive for him but he will not be pleased missing the podium."