It looked like Great Britain’s Stimpson was going to be celebrating back-to- back victories in the UAE as she led down the home straight at Yas Marina Circuit.
But a repeat of her 2016 triumph in the capital was not to be as New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt surged past her in a thrilling sprint finish to claim her first win since the 2011 Grand Final in Beijing.
Stimpson, however, was thrilled with second place after her 2016 season fell off a cliff after her win here 12 months ago.
Stimpson, a double gold medal winner at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, lost out on selection for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to Non Stanford, Helen Jenkins and Vicky Holland, before an Achilles injury then ended her campaign.
And she admitted she will gain confidence from her fine start to the season in the Emirates.
“It definitely does give me confidence, but in the same breath I’m not taking it for granted as this is how last season started,” said Stimpson, who switched coach to Adam Elliott in the off-season.
“I’m not saying I decreased going into the (second race in the) Gold Coast last season because I didn’t, but I’ve been refreshed again. It took a long time after last year so I’m excited moving forward.
“After a really tough year last year and working really closely with my new coach, coming into a new environment and new people to work with, everything’s changed.
“There’s one thing I want to say, I couldn’t have done it without my management team and my family. My manager surprised me by coming out today. My family couldn’t come out but they got me through last year and I owe them so much.”