A man training for this weekend's Ironman competition suffered multiple fractures when he was allegedly deliberately knocked off his bike in an altercation with a motorist.
The 49-year-old local man was knocked off his bike just north of Taupo, staff from the Taupo-based Greenlea Rescue Helicopter said.
The helicopter airlifted the man to Rotorua Hospital.
Pilot Nat Every said he suffered multiple fractures.
Police said the victim, a 49-year-old local man, suffered suspected pelvic injuries and a broken collar bone in the incident, which happened about 12.45pm on Broadlands Rd.
He had been training for his eighth Ironman event.
A 21-year-old man would appear in Taupo District Court on Wednesday charged with common assault.
Police said the sportsman was riding west when a ute travelling in the opposite direction overtook a vehicle, taking him onto the cyclist's side of the road.
The cyclist, upset by the manoeuvre, made a hand gesture to the driver of the ute.
The ute then turned around and pulled over ahead of the cyclist. As the cyclist pulled wide to go around the ute the driver allegedly chased him on foot and pushed him off his bike.
The ute left the scene but a man was arrested later in Reporoa.
He has been charged with common assault and will appear at Taupo District Court on Wednesday.
Ironman spokeswoman Jane Patterson said tonight: "We are deeply concerned when any cyclist is injured in accidents on the roads, let alone to an Ironman participant and in this case just days out from the event.
"We would like to implore all cyclists and drivers to take extra care on the roads, and especially in the lead-up to Saturday's Ironman New Zealand."