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Rower has been a prominent advocate of cycle helmets since suffering a fractured skull and brain damage in 2010

James Cracknell has urged people to wear a helmet “whenever riding a bike” after the Daily Mail published photographs of him riding in Cambridge without one recently. The double Olympic gold medallist told the newspaper his helmet had been stolen but said he, “should have made alternative travel plans.”

Cracknell has been a prominent advocate of cycle helmets ever since he was hit by the wing mirror of a passing truck while cycling in Arizona in 2010.

He suffered a fractured skull and bruising to his brain and spent ten days in a coma. He later said it was ‘selfish’ of riders not to wear a helmet.

Cracknell, who is currently studying for a Masters in human evolution, was snapped riding around Cambridge with the Mail predictably making a big point about the fact that he was on the pavement at one point.

Questioned about the lack of helmet, he said: “I was without my helmet for a few days after it was stolen from my bike but to be honest that’s not a good enough excuse.

“I should have made alternative travel plans and put safety ahead of convenience. I would urge everyone to wear a helmet whenever riding a bike, however short a distance.”

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