Thursday 25 December 2014

Beast vs Bike: Nicholas Roche takes on Pat Smullen at Leopardstown racecourse

Published 14/08/2014 | 21:41

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** 
Bulmers Live at Leopardstown, Leopardstown, Dublin 14/8/2014
(left/right) Paul Dunne, Paddy Power, Nicholas Roche, Pat Smullen, Gohann Fox, CMRF, Piggy McGrath and Dave McGrath, Chairman of Leopardstown
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan
(left/right) Paul Dunne, Paddy Power, Nicholas Roche, Pat Smullen, Gohann Fox, CMRF, Piggy McGrath and Dave McGrath, Chairman of Leopardstown ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Pedal power met horse power this evening at Leopardstown racecourse as professional cyclist Nicolas Roche tried his hand at conquering the pace of the ‘beast’.

The 30-year-old Irish sportsman went head-to-head with champion jockey Pat Smullen (37) as part of a unique “Beast versus Bike” charity race.

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Bulmers Live at Leopardstown, Leopardstown, Dublin 14/8/2014
Cyclist Nicholas Roche in action during the Irish Independent The Beast vs Bike Charity Race
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Cyclist Nicholas Roche in action during the The Beast vs Bike Charity Race ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

All funds raised for the event went towards the Children’s Medical & Research Foundation (CMRF) at Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin.

As strange as it may seem, professional cyclists have been attempting to outdo the four legged animal for centuries.

However, just as history has shown that horse power generally wins out, this occasion was no different.

Riding atop the Dermot Weld trained 'Moonbi Creek', Smullen took the 25.2 second race easily with a eight length win over Roche.

“It was an honour to take part in this race for such a worthy cause and I think Nicolas set himself a tough task taking on a thoroughbred horse over 2 furlongs," the jockey said.

"All credit goes to Nicolas Roche, what a wonderful athlete and gentleman. Hopefully we get to race each other again and I am looking forward to the rematch!”

The race was run over 400m on the final two furlongs of the Foxrock-based racetrack.

Nicolas, who was optimistic about the competition earlier today, reached a top speed of approximately 58 km/h on his two wheels.

Credit: Twitter/Nicola Anderson

"Heading into @everleighgarden tonight after the Beast-v-Bike race...hopefully I'll be celebrating! @leopardstown," he tweeted prior to the event.

And the loss didn't seem to dampen the Tour de France veteran's spirits.  "It was a great night for a great cause," he said.

"I would like to thank everybody who showed up to support the event. Unfortunately I couldn't beat Pat and Dermot, but I gave it 100pc!"

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