Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 11:08 UK

Crowe tells writer to get on bike

Russell Crowe
Crowe told Annette Sharp she was a better cyclist than Baz Luhrmann

Russell Crowe challenged an Australian newspaper columnist to a cycle duel after she mocked a picture of him smoking and eating on a bike ride.

The piece, in Sydney's Daily Telegraph, was headlined "smokes and fatty foods the fitness regime for Rusty".

The Gladiator star then called the paper to challenge Annette Sharp to a 12-mile (19.3km) race through the city.

Video of the early morning duel showed Crowe speeding along with Ms Sharp struggling to keep up.

Crowe is shown telling Ms Sharp she is a better cyclist than Australian film director Baz Luhrmann.

After a couple of hours on the bike, you've earnt a couple of fags
Russell Crowe

"He holds the record for the worst cycling tourist we've ever taken for a ride - you are twice the man Baz Luhrmann is on a bicycle."

The Telegraph mocked Crowe last week after he was photographed taking a break from a bike ride with his personal trainer to smoke a cigarette, eat tacos and drink a soft drink.

The paper reported that Crowe's spokesman had called the next day and said: "Get on your bike. Russell wants you to go riding with him.

"Are you ready to die?"

'Victory moment'

At one point during the pair's cycle trip, Ms Sharp fell off her bike.

When you make a living throwing stones you expect that one day someone is going to lob one back. This was that day
Annette Sharp

After their duel, she wrote: "I was sliding exuberantly down the track when, with a thump, I came off the seat and landed painfully on the crossbar.

"This was surely it - his victory moment. His victory moment, with me sprawled in the dirt.

"Yet he was gracious, concerned - the perfect gentleman as he rolled up my trousers to check my knee."

She added: "When you make a living throwing stones you expect that one day someone is going to lob one back.

"This was that day."



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