They eventually shared the podium but Anton Cooper and Sam Gaze shared no more than five words during yesterday's spectacular one-two in Glasgow.
Although the pair's success in the men's mountain bike race appeared to be a classic case of Kiwis coming together to upset the odds, Cooper revealed it was quite the opposite.
Aside from an early agreement to push the pace from the start, seeing the pair steal into the lead on the opening lap, it was "every man for himself" as the day unfolded.
The approach worked a treat and the teenagers crossed within three seconds of each other, taking gold, silver and a spot in this country's Commonwealth Games folklore.
And Cooper thinks had the duo attempted to work together, the co-operation could have backfired and left them empty-handed.
"I wouldn't say [we worked as a team] - it just looked like it because we were both there," the gold medallist said. "You can do that and lose out and no one gets a medal.
"It's so much different to road. You can't really draft off each other and, when you've got two other riders in the mix as well, trying to look after their own intentions, it's hard to work with another rider."
Rather than teammate, Cooper saw Gaze as his main rival as the pair, with Australian favourite Dan McConnell, raced toward the finish line.
Leading into the Games, Cooper thought McConnell, the world No 3, was the man to beat but that view shifted as events unfolded.
"He's been the strongest rider for sure leading into this," the 19-year-old said. "I thought Dan was going to ride away. Halfway through the race he was looking really strong, but I guess he paid the price for that.
"I felt like I'd have a better kick than Dan, I was more worried about Sam over those last few hundred metres. But you forget about the pain then and just go off adrenaline."
Whether it was the pain rendering speaking too difficult, or the adrenaline creating too narrow a focus, the two Kiwis spoke only a few words as they circled the Cathkin Braes course.
But there was certainly no animosity involved. "I really wanted to win but you can't always win them," said Gaze. "The next best thing was my countryman winning ... this was a victory for me as well because it's a country thing."
It must have helped both men that their duty entailed taking down an Australian, albeit one with whom they are friendly.
"We got [McConnell] exactly where we wanted him and then, from there, it was just a single man's game," Gaze said. "He's top-three in the world for elite men and it's amazing to beat him. I'm 18, [Cooper's] 19 and we beat one of the best guys in the world."