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Tuesday 16 September 2014

Nicolas Roche takes on bike versus beast challenge

Published 05/08/2014 | 02:30

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Irish cyclist Nicolas Roche has been linked with a move to Team Sky after two years with Tinkoff Saxo. Picture credit: Stephen McMahon / SPORTSFILE
Irish cyclist Nicolas Roche has been linked with a move to Team Sky after two years with Tinkoff Saxo. Picture credit: Stephen McMahon / SPORTSFILE

Having fully recovered from the Tour de France, cyclist Nicolas Roche is ready to take on his next opponent - a Dermot Weld-trained horse ridden by Champion jockey Pat Smullen.

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Roche will go head to head with the thoroughbred for the Bike Versus Beast Race taking place at Leopardstown Racecourse on August 14.

It may sound like a truly bizarre concept but it's not the first time a cyclist has competed with stallions.

Flamboyant showman Buffalo Bill frequently staged horse and bicycle duels back in the 1880s.

Pat Smullen is confident he will be the victor, saying: "I'm in good shape as I'm in the middle of flat season.

"I'm ready to put plenty of pressure on Roche."

Cyclist Roche is also in fighting form, claiming he was taking "no rest" and was spending every spare minute "training to beat that horse".

Race-goers attending the Bike versus Beast Race can also enjoy live music by The Charlatans.

All proceeds from the race will go towards The Children's Medical and Research Foundation.

Tickets for the fundraiser also include racing, and dinner.

Irish Independent

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