Actor Russell Crowe wanted to prove he was still in gladiator shape following withering comments in an Australian newspaper, so he challenged the gossip columnist to a bicycle duel.
Crowe, who has been photographed looking slimmer in recent months, was apparently none too pleased by a column in Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday entitled “Smokes and fatty foods the fitness regime for Rusty”.
The newspaper had mocked Gladiator star Crowe after he was photographed pausing during a recent bike ride with his personal trainer to puff on a cigarette and munch three tacos and a soft drink.
In a story published today, the paper said Crowe’s spokesman called up gossip columnist Annette Sharp the next day and said: “Get on your bike. Russell wants you to go riding with him. Are you ready to die?”
Sharp accepted the challenge and the pair met at dawn for a 12-mile ride through the city.
A video of the race shows Sharp struggling to keep up while Crowe zooms along unfazed. At one point, Sharp fell off her bike.
Still, Crowe gave Sharp some credit, telling her she was a better biker than Australian director Baz Luhrmann.