New Zealand riders Jesse Sergent and Sam Bewley finished mid-pack in a gruelling individual time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in the Netherlands overnight.
Sergent, 24, finished 23rd and his fellow London Olympic team pursuit bronze medallist, Bewley, 25, was 31st in the 58-strong field that battled the hilly course near Limburg.
Olympic time trial silver medallist Tony Martin of Germany successfully defended his title, edging out young American star Taylor Phinney by just five seconds to win in 58:38.76.
Martin, from the Omega Pharma-Quickstep team, and BMX Racing's Phinney were the only riders to edge under the one hour mark for the tough 45.7km test that finished with the 1.2km climb of Cauberg Hill.
Earlier Astana rider Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kazakhstan) set the early pace with a 1:00.35 before headed by Movistar's Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) who clocked 1:00.23 28th.
Sergent (Radioshack Nissan Trek) started strongly to be 18th through the first split at 14kms before edging back to 26th at the midway point.
The Feilding rider finished strongly in 1:02.04.65.
Bewley (Orica GreenEdge) also started powerfully to be 19th fastest at the 14km split but 28th at halfway before slipping three more places in the final hilly finish of this gruelling test.
There is a day off tomorrow before the action moves to the road with Alexandra's Sophie Williamson the sole New Zealander in the junior women over five laps (80kms) of a similarly challenging course that includes 10 climbs.
The under-23 men (Tom David, Josh Atkins, and Tom Scully) and elite women (Linda Villumsen, Emily Collins, Emma Crum, Kate Chilcott) compete on Sunday (NZ time) with the elite men (Jack Bauer, Julian Dean and Hayden Roulston) racing on Monday.
Results: Individual time trial, 45.7km, elite men: Tony Martin (GER) 58:38.76, 1; Taylor Phinney (USA) 58:44.13, 2; Vasil Kiryienka (BLR) 1:00.23.75, 3. Also: Jesse Sergent 1:02.04.65, 23; Sam Bewley 1:02.37.92, 31.