Kris Gemmell was the only New Zealand triathlete to crack the top 20 in a fast-paced day of racing at the ITU World Championship Series in Hamburg, Germany.
With series leader Alistair Brownlee of Great Britain not on the start line, it was an incredibly wide open race with around 50 athletes coming out of transition together off the bike and into a frenetic 10-kilometre run.
Australian Brad Kahlefeldt won the race in dramatic style, holding off Briton Will Clarke and France's David Hauss in a sprint finish to secure his first ever World Championship title.
Gemmell showed the quickest heels of the New Zealand contingent with a run time of just over 31 minutes to finish 17th overall, just over a minute behind Kahlefeldt.
Martin van Barneveld was the next New Zealander across the finish line in 27th.
Ryan Sissons had a race he will want to forget, blowing up on the run after being well poised coming off the bike - ending up in 45th place.