Germany's Anne Haug has won the world triathlon series grand final in Auckland.
But Swede Erin Norden claimed the day's biggest honours, taking out the overall women's world title after Australian series leader Erin Densham was forced to pull out on the bike.
New Zealand duo Andrea Hewitt and Kate McIlroy were in touch as the run hit the final two kilometres, but a lead pack quickly turned into a chase group as Haug blazed ahead on her own.
Hewitt finished seventh and McIlroy was ninth, a way behind Haug, American runner-up Gwen Jorgensen and Chile's Barbara Riveros Diaz who was third.
With the result also pushing Haug into second in the overall world series, she described the win as her best ever.
"It's amazing, I can't believe it. I feel like I'm in a bubble," Haug said.
"I think I need to settle a little bit before I can believe it.
"It was a perfect race after a perfect season for me. I'm more than happy."
Hewitt said she knew she didn't have the power in her legs at the end of the run, but her seventh place was enough to secure third on the season standings.
"I hurt my lungs today, I could hardly talk before," Hewitt said.
"I'm pretty happy with the overall result for the year, finishing on the podium for the series.
"But today the result wasn't what I was after, I had a good race but couldn't finish on the last straight into Queen Street. I couldn't keep up with the leaders."
Densham was forced to pull out of the race during the cycle, handing a major advantage to Norden, who was able to finish fourth and secure her first ever season title.
Tomorrow's elite men's race begins at 1.06pm.
- © Fairfax NZ News