Ryan Bailie has finished an impressive 5th place in the opening round of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Auckland.
Bailie’s time of 1hr 55minutes and 59seconds placed him inside the Top 5 at a World Triathlon race for the first time in his career.
The 23-year-old finished only 1minute 46seconds back from winner and World number 1 Javier Gomez in a very impressive performance.
At the completion of the 1.5km swim, a leading group of 14 riders had formed including Gomez, World number 2 Jonathon Brownlee and four Australians; Bailie, Aaron Royle, Dan Wilson and Declan Wilson.
The 40km bike leg dropped two riders from the leaders with only 12 entering the bike-run transition at the front of the race.
Gomez and Brownlee established a lead at the head of the field on the 10km run, with a trio of Aussies; Bailie, Royle and Wilson fighting it out for the bronze medal.
A thrilling sprint finish between the three Australians ensued with Aaron Royle edging out Dan Wilson and Bailie.
The second round of the series is in Cape Town, South Africa on April 27.