Harry Tanfield delivered a brave performance out front but could not inspire a Commonwealth Games road race triumph for England.
The Canyon Eisberg star, 23, had spent much of the gruelling Gold Coast battle in a chase group behind a three-man breakaway, including team-mate Tom Stewart.
After they had all been swept up, only a dozen riders made it to the finish line where Steele von Hoff sprinted to victory for Australia.
Jon Mould, of Wales, produced a superb kick but was just pipped into silver-medal position as South Africa’s Clint Hendricks snatched third from Mark Downey, of Northern Ireland.
Stewart survived to the end, as did Ian Bibby but try as they might neither could force their way on to the podium for the England team.
A total of 166 riders rolled out of the Currumbin beachfront with 168.7km in front of them.
The start of the race was extremely aggressive, with plenty of riders and plenty of nations hitting out during the early skirmishes.
By the halfway point of the race, Tanfield had forced his way into a six-man chase group 45 seconds behind a trio of leaders.
Among the Canyon Eisberg talent’s companions were Aussie Mitch Docker, Kiwi Jason Christie and Welshman Dylan Kerfoot-Robson.
They were in pursuit of Tanfield’s England team-mate Stewart, Guernsey’s James McLaughlin and Joseph Areruya, from Rwanda.
The main group was three minutes behind and losing ground with less than half of the field remaining.
After 100km, the Aussies put the hammer down at the front of the peloton and quickly reduced the gap to the front of the race to little more than two minutes.
Tanfield, meanwhile, was pacing himself up the climbs sensibly and Stewart was looking strong in the lead group.
The nine riders out front were all together with 50km remaining before Stewart and McLaughlin kicked on again.
Brendon Davids, of South Africa, and Docker attempted to bridge but, along with Tanfield and the remaining escapees, they were soon swept up by the much-reduced peloton.
Only 30 seconds separated the leaders with the bunch, which was still being led by the host nation and, in particular, Callum Scotson.
The catch was eventually made with 13km of the race left, ahead of the final ascent of Guineas Creek Road and a fast run in to the finish.
And it was Jack Bauer and the Kiwis who were taking the attack to the Aussies as riders were shelled at a rapid rate with only 12 left to contest victory.
Cameron Meyer and Luke Rowe both had digs but the group was still altogether inside the final 8km.