Richard Branson, 71, shows off gruesome injuries from ‘colossal cycling crash’

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    Richard Branson, 71, shows off gruesome injuries from ‘colossal cycling crash’

    Richard Branson, 71, shows off gruesome injuries from ‘colossal cycling crash’ and reveals his helmet saved his life after his brakes failed during British Virgin Islands charity bike ride

    • British billionaire smashed into another rider on a steep hill on island of Tortola
    • Virgin founder feared he had broken his back as he lay on the hard concrete
    • Both men were taken to the Virgin Gorda hospital to be treated for their injuries










    Sir Richard Branson has suffered a ‘colossal’ bicycle crash after his brakes failed while taking part in an endurance charity race across the British Virgin Islands this week.

    The 71-year-old billionaire feared he had broken his back after colliding with another rider during day two of the Strive BVI event – which sees fitness fanatics complete a series of gruelling water and land-based challenges over the course of several days.

    The Virgin founder said he had to be treated for severe cuts and bruises on his elbow, an ‘extraordinarily big bump’ on his hip and a ‘massive’ hematoma on his leg after flying off his bike and crashing onto the hard concrete road on the island of Tortola. 

    In a blog post on his Virgin website on Wednesday, the father-of-three said there was ‘no question’ that wearing a helmet saved his life.

    The entrepreneur shared photos from moments after the crash which show him laying on his back next to fellow rider Felix Stellmaszek. 

    In another shot he is seen smiling and doing a ‘thumbs up’ while holding an ice pack as he is pictured getting into the van which took him to the Virgin Gorda hospital.

    Meanwhile other snaps show the huge lump on his left hip and his heavily bruised and scratched arm through his torn cycling shirt. 

    Sir Richard wrote: ‘I was navigating a steep corner, with a massive cliff drop to my left, a car coming up the hill, and my fellow Striver, Felix Stellmaszek, in front of me passing the car. 

    ‘I pulled on both of my brakes, but they didn’t respond. 

    British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, 71, suffered a 'colossal' bike crash during a charity event on the British Virgin Islands (Pictured: Sir Richard gives thumbs up as he gets in van to be taken to hospital)

    British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, 71, suffered a ‘colossal’ bike crash during a charity event on the British Virgin Islands (Pictured: Sir Richard gives thumbs up as he gets in van to be taken to hospital)

    The Virgin founder said he had to be treated for severe cuts and bruises on his elbow, an 'extraordinarily big bump' on his hip (pictured) and a 'massive' hematoma on his leg after flying off his bike and crashing onto the hard concrete road on the island of Tortola

    The Virgin founder said he had to be treated for severe cuts and bruises on his elbow, an ‘extraordinarily big bump’ on his hip (pictured) and a ‘massive’ hematoma on his leg after flying off his bike and crashing onto the hard concrete road on the island of Tortola

    SIR RICHARD’S VARIOUS INJURIES AND BRUSHES WITH DEATH 

    In February 2016 Sir Richard told how he had been bitten by a ‘shark’ while swimming with dozens of stingrays in the Cayman Islands. 

    During the same trip he also smashed his head into a glass door while out shopping – and he had knocked teeth out twice while playing tennis over the previous year.

    And in 1985, his speedboat famously capsized in high seas about 140 miles from the Isles of Sicily as he tried to set a record for the fastest-ever Atlantic crossing.

    Sir Richard said in a blog post that he had experienced ‘many brushes with death, not least in my ballooning adventures’.

    From 1995 to 1998 he made several attempts to circumnavigate the globe by balloon with Per Lindstrand and Steve Fossett.

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    ‘I was going faster and faster, with my options being to drop off the cliff, hit the car, or potentially run into Felix.’

    He said he pulled on his brakes as tight as he could but they ‘didn’t respond’.

    He added: ‘I cried out to Felix a warning – “brakes not working!” – but he had no chance of getting out of the way. We crashed – hard.

    ‘We both fell off our bikes and our heads and bodies slammed into the concrete road. 

    ‘There is no question that wearing helmets saved our lives – not the first time that has been the case. 

    ‘We both lay flat out on the road as the rest of the team gathered around us. 

    ‘I stayed still, hoping I hadn’t broken my back or paralysed myself. Slowly, I moved my limbs and was relieved they responded.’ 

    Both men were taken to Virgin Gorda hospital where they were treated for their injuries. 

    Sir Richard uploaded a video to his Instagram account today which documented the moment both men were waiting to be transported from the scene. 

    In the clip, Mr Stellmaszek recounts the moment Sir Richard crashed into him. 

    He says: ‘We had to break pretty hard… Richard in a very nice and gentle manner said: “My brakes are failing!”,  next thing I know he jumped on my bike, we both crashed.

    ‘But I’ve never had someone push me off the road and apologise in advance, it was very gentle and kind of him I’ve gotta say.’ 

    While giggling in the front of the vehicle, Sir Richard insists that he tried to pass him. 

    Mr Stellmaszek replies: ‘You’re making me laugh so hard it hurts’, to which Sir Richard says: ‘I think you might have saved my life because I was gathering such speed without the brakes.’ 

    While laughing Mr Stellmaszek adds: ‘Well you said I make a good cushion… ah this hurts.’ 

    The Strive BVI is described as a ‘multi-discipline challenge fundraising event across the British Virgin Islands entirely under human and sail power.’

    It occurs each year and raises funds for Big Change, a charity founded by Sir Richard’s children Holly and Sam. 

    Sir Richard had enjoyed sailing, kayaking and paddleboarding around Anegada during the challenge’s first day. 

    Sir Richard was cycling among the rolling hills of the island of Tortola when the collision occurred

    Sir Richard was cycling among the rolling hills of the island of Tortola when the collision occurred 

    The 71-year-old billionaire feared he had broken his back after colliding with another rider during day two of the Strive BVI challenge - which sees fitness fanatics complete a series of gruelling water and land-based courses over several days (Pictured moments after collision)

    The 71-year-old billionaire feared he had broken his back after colliding with another rider during day two of the Strive BVI challenge – which sees fitness fanatics complete a series of gruelling water and land-based courses over several days (Pictured moments after collision) 

    Sir Richard shows off his bruised and scraped arm and torn cycling shirt following collision

    Sir Richard shows off his bruised and scraped arm and torn cycling shirt following collision 

    In 2016, Sir Richard cracked his cheek and tore several ligaments while riding in the Virgin Strive challenge in Leverick Bay (Pictured following 2016 crash)

    In 2016, Sir Richard cracked his cheek and tore several ligaments while riding in the Virgin Strive challenge in Leverick Bay (Pictured following 2016 crash) 

    On day two, the day of the crash, the entrepreneur had already endured a punishing 60km bike ride around the rolling hills of Tortola, before agreeing to do an extra 10km. 

    It was on his return down a steep winding road that the crash happened. 

    There are still hiking, swimming and sailing events planned for later this week, although it’s not known if Sir Richard will be taking part. 

    Sir Richard added: ‘Thanks so much to the medical team who helped us. 

    ‘I’ve got some severe cuts and bruises on my elbow, an extraordinarily big bump on my hip and a massive hematoma on my leg. But it could have been so much worse.’

    It’s not the first time the business mogul has been injured on his bike in the Virgin Islands. 

    In 2016,  he cracked his cheek and tore several ligaments while riding in the Virgin Strive challenge in Leverick Bay.

    He said at the time: ‘I was heading down a hill towards Leverick Bay when it suddenly got really dark and I managed to hit a “sleeping policeman” hump in the road head on.

    ‘The next thing I knew, I was being hurled over the handlebars and my life was literally flashing before my eyes. I really thought I was going to die.

    ‘I went flying head-first towards the concrete road, but fortunately my shoulder and cheek took the brunt of the impact, and I was wearing a helmet that saved my life.’

    Sir Richard added that wearing a helmet saved his life, and his bicycle went flying off the cliff’. 

    He continued: ‘I really couldn’t believe I was alive, let alone not paralysed.’

    In a blog post in 2016 Sir Richard said had experienced ‘many brushes with death.’  

    In February that year he been bitten by stingrays while swimming with dozens of the ‘sharks’ in the Cayman Islands.  

    During the same trip he also smashed his head into a glass door while out shopping – and he had knocked teeth out twice while playing tennis over the previous year.

    In 1985, his speedboat famously capsized in high seas about 140 miles from the Isles of Sicily as he tried to set a record for the fastest-ever Atlantic crossing. 

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    Published at Wed, 10 Nov 2021 16:36:36 +0000

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