The Swiss favourite for the 2001 Ironman Switzerland contest, Christoph Mauch, finished in second place in Sunday's gruelling thriathlon event in Zurich.
Mauch was overtaken by the 1999 Ironman champion, Peter Kropko from Hungary, completing the circuit in 8 minutes 33:15, less than four minutes behind the winner.
Another Swiss, Stefan Riesen, took third place.
In the women's category, the 37-year old Swiss, Ariane Gutknecht, came in third, only 2.42 minutes behind the German champion, Silvia Vaupel.
The contestants in this year's race had to complete a demanding circuit consisting of 3.8km swimming, 180km bike ride, polished off with 42.2km run.
Mauch was critical of his performance, explaining that much of his energy went into the cycling round. "I've been looking forward to the cycling for a long time, and I think I focussed perhaps too much on staying in the lead," he said.
Nevertheless, Mauch did succeed in staying in the lead for most of the contest, and was overtaken by Kropko only 30km into the final race.
"Kropko is no longer just a strong cyclist, he's also become an good runner," Mauch explained. "The future belongs to him."
swissinfo with agencies