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Russell Crowe Challenges Gossip Columnist To Bike Duel

After an Australian gossip columnist mocked Russell Crowe for smoking and downing a fatty meal during a recent bike ride, Crowe challenged the columnist to prove he's still in better shape than her.

Crowe was upset over an article in the 'Daily Telegraph's Sydney Confidential in which Annette Sharp poked fun at him for stopping during a recent bike ride in town, with his personal trainer, to enjoy a cigarette and eat three tacos on the way.

"Smokes and fatty foods the fitness regime for Rusty," wrote the gossip columnist.

The next day Crowe's publicist called Sharp and said the actor wanted to put down a bike riding challenge to her: "Get on your bike. Russell wants you to go riding with him. Are you ready to die?"

"When you make a living throwing stones you expect that one day someone is going to lob one back. This was that day," writes Sharp in her Friday article.

Sharp accepted and the two met up for a 20 kilometre ride from Crowe's home at Woolloomooloo to Bondi. But she soon realized it may not have been the best idea: "Having spent the past nine months honing his form to play Robin Hood in director Ridley Scott's latest romp, Crowe was in good condition. Not so this mother of three."

"Within moments the actor had launched himself from the footpath and into the early morning traffic. By the time I'd waited for the traffic to clear, Crowe was out of sight," explains Sharp. "'You'll soon realise that from Woolloomooloo, everything is uphill,' he called over his shoulder after we'd found him. He was right."

A pleased Crowe went on to tell her that although he enjoyed biking, it wasn't really meant to be to stay in shape: "This is actually not a workout. This is just something I love doing in Sydney and LA."

At one point, an exhausted Sharp even fell off her bike: "I was sliding exuberantly down the track when, with a thump, I came off the seat and landed painfully on the crossbar. Soon I was on the ground. This was surely it. 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."

When it was all over, Crowe gave Sharp some credit: "Better than (Australian director) Baz Luhrmann," he said. "You're twice the man Baz is."

September 4, 2009 |

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