Olympian Emma Jackson returned to her best form with a courageous silver medal in the ITU's toughest World Triathlon Series race in Austria on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Queenslander tackled the un-forgiving 11.5km climb to the notorious Kitzbuehel Horn on the bike and 2.5km run with a ferocious tenacity after a 750m swim in the Alpine resort.

Jackson couldn't catch British winner Jodie Stimpson but held off Germany's world No.2 Anne Haug to post her best result of the year.

"I tried as hard as I could but just couldn't go with Jodie, said the France-based Jackson, who said she gained inspiration from watching Britain's Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee take out the mens race.

"I'm very, very happy with that result, my third silver medal in a WTS race and it's great to be back on the podium."

Fellow Queenslander Ashleigh Gentle finished a creditable 9th while two-time Olympian Emma Moffatt was 19th and Felicity Abram, who took a groin injury into the race, finished 34th.

Australia now has three women in the top ten on the WTS rankings after five rounds with Moffatt sixth, Abram eighth and Gentle 10th while Jackson has jumped from outside the top 58 to 27th.

In the men's race, 22-year-old Wollongong-based Western Australian Ryan Bailie, a noted hill climber, finished in ninth place while teammate Dan Wilson was 29th.

Britain's Brownlee, one of the greatest triathletes of all time, turned in another breath-taking performance to beat Spaniard Mario Mola, who started the day in third place in the rankings, and Sven Riederer of Switzerland.

Bailie left five of the world's top 10 ranked triathletes in his wake including world No.1, Olympic silver medallist and two-time world champion Javier Gomez of Spain, who finished 13th.

Bailie is now sitting 11th on the WTS rankings with Hamburg, Stockholm and London events remaining.