RECORD winning Olympic rower Sir Steve Redgrave has been injured in the US during a charity cycle race.
The challenge dubbed The World’s Toughest Bike Race has lived up to its tag after Sir Steve broke various bones in an accident.
Sir Steve's team yesterday completed the 3,000 mile Race Across America - but with the record gold medal winner cheering his mates on from his stretcher.
The legendary Olympian, 48, from Marlow Bottom suffered the injuries after going over the handlebars face first on Friday, according to his team's blog.
He suffered two broken ribs, a broken cheek bone and wrist, team mate Peter McConnell wrote.
Mr McConnell wrote on the blog last night: “This is the most intense experience any of us has ever been through, packed full of amazing highs and deep lows, but worth the effort.
“That is apart from the dreadful accident Steve had on Friday. "Steve flying down a highway hit something, we don't know what, and went over the handlebars landing face first.
“Steve spent two nights in hospital, with Malcolm and team Dr. Reman keeping watch and updating the team on progress.
"Our prime concern at that time was Steve. The race didn’t matter any more.”
The cyclists crossed 14 American states during the ride, climbing the Rocky Mountains, riding about 400 miles a day during the event, which went from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland.
Mr McConell wrote: “As you can imagine we were all devastated. With only 300 odd miles to go, having put in huge efforts, riders and crew alike this was an absolute body blow.
“However even lying on his stretcher Steve urged the team on.”
Sir Steve recalls on the blog he had “very blurred vision” after falling, saw his finger had been skewed “in a funny direction” and had blood pouring from his face.
He said: “Of all the things that possibly could have stopped me – tiredness, fatigue, diabetes, a simple blow out on the front wheel of a bike going around a corner can cause such pain.”
The aim of the team was to raise £100,000 for Sport Relief and the Steve Redgrave Fund.
The team comprised: Peter McConnell, Ian Neville and John Mottram from Upper Thames Rowing Club, former international rowing brothers Nick and Jonathan Spencer-Jones – both from Marlow - and Malcolm Cooper, Francis Paxton and John Mottram – Steve's old friends from Marlow Rowing Club.
For more information visit www.redgravecrew.com.