Multisport: Mike Phillips shocks Braden Currie to win Ironman New Zealand, as Netherlands' Els Visser prevents Kiwi double

Mike Phillips has shocked defending champion Braden Currie to win his second Ironman New Zealand title in Taupo.

Meanwhile, flying Dutchwoman Els Visser spoiled the party, beating former champion Hannah Berry, to prevent a Kiwi double.

Neck and neck for most of the race with Currie, Phillips eventually reigned supreme in Taupo to win the men's event.

Phillips topped the podium for the first time in four years, and it wasn't easy.

"I was fighting off cramp in my quads and my calves and in my stomach," he told Newshub.

"I was just trying to put one foot in front of the other. It wasn't until 1.5km to go that I could enjoy it.

"I won in 2019, so to come back and do it again - it's easy to do it once, but to do it twice is hard."

Over 900 athletes began the gruelling 3.8km swim at dawn. Currie and Phillips emerged from the water shoulder-to-shoulder. 

On the bike they were inseparable until the end of the 180km ride. Currie hunted down Phillips, and cut into his three-minute lead.

But cramp got to defending champion Currie, as Phillips came home first in a time of 7h 56m.

In the women's event, Kiwi Rebecca Clarke broke away early on the swim, but was quickly joined by compatriot Hannah Berry on the bike.

But in a twist, a storming ride home saw Visser take the lead into the run.

She never relinquished it, and the Dutchwoman raced home to win by more than two minutes and claim the title on her Taupo debut.