Russell Crowe shows benevolent side after telling writer to get on her bike

Russell Crowe might have the reputation of being a Hollywood bad boy, but the Aussie screen star proved himself to be nothing short of a real gentleman this week after a bizarre cycle duel with a newspaper columnist.

The incident occurred after Sydney's Daily Telegraph published an article mocking the Robin Hood star for smoking and eating on a bike ride, headlined: "Smokes and fatty foods the fitness regime for Rusty".

Not one to take kind of criticism lying down, the 45-year-old then called to challenge columnist Annette Sharp to a 12-mile race through the city.

Footage of the early morning ride shows Russell racing ahead of his competitor who struggled to keep up.

But despite the competitive nature of their meeting, Russell and Annette remained on friendly terms, and when she came off her bike, the dad-of-two was first to help her out.

"This was surely it – his victory moment," Annette wrote of the moment she came off her bike seat. "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 you make a living throwing stones you expect that one day someone is going to lob one back," she concluded.

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