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Helmeted rider hit gravel on bend, according to eyewitness

In what is being described as a freak accident, a 40-year-old man died on Sunday after falling off his bike on a descent in Richmond Park, Surrey.

Police were called to the crash which occurred just before 09:30 on Sunday morning. The man, who has not yet been named, was taken by London's Air Ambulance to the Royal London Hospital in a critical condition, but later died from his injuries.

The rider is reported to have crashed as a result of hitting gravel while descending Broomfield Hill/Dark Hill, near the park's south-eastern edge.

The man was put into the recovery position by a passing doctor. He was wearing a helmet and is thought to have been travelling at about 15 mph. The speed limit in Richmond Park is 20mph.

Oliver Prior, who was riding up the hill as the man came down it, told Mary Isokariari of the Evening Standard: "The man was coming down on the outside of the bend where the road has the most amount of gravel. He bike slipped from underneath him and he fell and hit his head.

“There was a doctor, who just happened to be cycling and he organised for three people to help move the man into the recovery position. My friend was one of them."

The Metropolitan Police said that the deceased's next of kin had been notified and that the MPS Royal Parks Command Unit is now investigating.

No one else was involved in the incident.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.