More than 200 people have cycled into Auckland to take part in a morning ride with drug-cheating cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Despite being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in 2013, plenty of Kiwis seemed keen to get up close to Armstrong, who said he was humbled by the showing.
The 45-year-old had earlier asked Aucklanders to join him for the waterfront cycle via Twitter.
Good morning New Zealand! Let's ride Tuesday AM! Cruisy waterfront loop (Tamaki Drive/Cliff Road). 6am Mechanics Bay. See ya there!
— Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) December 18, 2016
— Sam Sword (@SharpFocusMedia) December 19, 2016
Trucks bringing goods in and out of the nearby Auckland Port were held up by the riders, most of whom were male.
They departed at 6am and rode for about an hour.
— Jared Patterson (@stigglor) December 19, 2016
Armstrong acknowledged to reporters that the ride was unlikely to change the minds of Kiwis who felt betrayed by him.
“It is what it is,” he said.
“There’s nothing I can say to a lot of people to make it go away and I get that.”
Armstrong is thought to be in Auckland for a film shoot with Lion Breweries.
His presence in the country has drawn incredulity from all sides, and many are staggered that any commercial operation would want to have anything to do with him.
I've been reading about Lance Armstrong flitting about NZ. He's famous, but he's no hero
— Joseph Romanos (@JosephRomanos) December 18, 2016
Wow. It's so kind of Lance Armstrong to let us all participate in his redemption story.
— Bridget (@beekaynz) December 19, 2016