Two punctures and a mechanical issue have denied Kiwi mountain biker a leading finish at the Rio Olympics.

The 20-year-old withdrew with a lap to go on the taxing 32.4km cross country course to finish in 37th place.

The race was won by Switzerland's Nino Schurter who won silver in London and bronze in Beijing ahead of London gold medallist Jaroslav Kulhavy from the Czech Republic and Spain's Carlos Coloma Nicolas.

Gaze, the world junior champion, suffered a puncture on the first lap and then was hit with further woes on the third lap to slip well down the field and he pulled out on lap six.

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Only 34 of the 49 riders completed the race with world road race champion Peter Sagan among the casualties.

Gaze was the final New Zealander to compete at the Rio Games.

"I just got swamped at the start," Gaze told Sky Sport. "I had a flat in the first lap and then the gears stopped working. It's no one's fault. I's just the way it is."

Gaze said he was looking forward to the wet conditions as he was confident they would suit him but things just didn't go his way.

"Sometimes you're the hammer and sometimes you're the nail and unfortunately today I was the nail."