In a year of political races, today's may be the silliest.
Cameron Slater, the blogger known as Whaleoil, and Trevor Mallard, the Labour Party's "bovver boy", will face off in a 60km bicycle race in Auckland's eastern suburbs.
The contest came about when Slater goaded Mallard, calling him "cripple" after he broke his right femur and right shoulder blade when he brushed wheels with another cyclist during a race in Otago five months ago. The MP lashed back, calling the well-upholstered Slater "blubber boy".
Slater, who is known for his obsessive blogging style, has been true to his compulsive nature and cycled about 15kg off his frame in preparation.
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Mallard noted the weight loss on television and admitted to "distinctly lacking in confidence" after his "major injury".
"I can cycle slightly better than I can walk."
Mallard, Labour's campaign manager for November's election, said he had considered refusing to compete.
But he has cycled the 20km course - of which they will ride three circuits - and will be there today.
"I'm probably of the mindset and generation that doesn't like quitting."
Slater is relentless: "He is a cripple. And he's running a crippled campaign."
The race starts at 1.30pm at Musick Point Reserve at Bucklands Beach.