Lance Armstrong's controversial past didn't stop hundreds of cyclists turning out on Auckland's waterfront on Tuesday morning to ride alongside him.
Armstrong had posted on social media on Monday, offering New Zealand fans the chance to ride along the waterfront with him at 6am Tuesday morning.
Those who did seem unfazed by Armstrong's past drug scandal, with more than 500 cyclists arriving in Mechanics Bay this morning to ride alongside their hero.
Newshub's Ollie Ritchie said he'd never seen a crowd like it.
There was no heckling or backlash, just plenty of selfies and excitement.
Armstrong won seven consecutive Tour de France titles between 1999 and 2005, but was later stripped of the titles for using performance-enhancing drugs.
He told Newshub on Tuesday he understands fans may have felt betrayed, "but it is what it is".
"Showing up here isn't going to make that go away. I'm 45 years old and I'm going to be talking about it when I'm 90."
"I can't make it right, there's nothing I can say to people to make it go away.
The only anger came from truck drivers at the port, as the crowds of lycra-clad bikers blocked the exit for several minutes.
Armstrong is reportedly in the country to film a commercial with Lion Breweries.