Winnipeg's Sarah-Anne Brault took a huge step forward in her comeback to elite triathlon racing with a victory at the Oceania Cup on Sunday.
The 24-year-old took posted a winning time of two hours seven minutes 55 seconds on the Olympic distance course that includes a 1.5-kilometre swim, 40-kilometre bike and 10-kilometre run.
"I've always thought of the races in Mooloolaba as iconic and exotic so to actually get to partake in the action this year was a little surreal," said Brault. "The swim was a little chaotic. I felt comfortable on the bike, which I expected, and I was pleasantly surprised to run away from the other girls early on."
Australia's Kelly-Ann Perkins was second at 2:09:16. Penny Hayes, of New Zealand, secured the bronze medal with a time of 2:10:30.
Brault quick through the first transition and led the field on the bike before posting the second-fastest run time at 38:09.
"It has taken me a while to come back with my running since a stress fracture last summer," said Brault. "I just kept focused on keeping that lead until the finish."
Prior to her injury last year, Brault won a silver and bronze medal on the 2012 World Cup circuit.
"I feel like this race was a step in the right direction, and a good confidence booster," said Brault. "But I am also fully aware that the (top) girls who raced here Saturday at the World Cup are at a whole other level, which I'll be working hard to attain."