Top-ranked Javier Gomez of Spain ran away from world number two and perennial rival Jonathan Brownlee to win the Auckland Triathlon, the first round of the Triathlon World Series.
He was pretty strong, but on the last lap I had something left and I just gave everything and didn't look back.
Gomez completed the 1.5-kilometre swim, 40-kilometre cycle and 10-kilometre run in 1 hour, 54 minutes, 13 seconds, and 20 seconds ahead of Britain's Brownlee after a thrilling duel between the world's top-two competitors.
Aaron Royle finished third, 1 minute, 16 seconds behind Brownlee, edging compatriots Dan Wilson and Ryan Bailie for the bronze medal.
"The water I felt good, the bike was really hard. Some of us worked pretty hard to keep the gap between the second group and during the run I tried many times to drop Jonathan," Gomez said.
"He was pretty strong, but on the last lap I had something left and I just gave everything and didn't look back.''
Brownlee agreed that Gomez had been too strong near the end of the run.
"As I keep saying the thing about (Gomez) is that I'm always going to see him in the race because he's going to be out at the front of the swim and he's a great cyclist and then the run."
"To be honest he destroyed me today.''
Stimpson wins women's
Earlier, Jodie Stimpson of Britain won the women's race in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 34 seconds, beating Anne Haug of Germany by 25 seconds.
Two-time world champion Helen Jenkins of Britain was third.
The next round of the series is at Cape Town on April 27.