With high-altitude hot air ballooning and a world record-breaking kite surf across the English Channel under his belt, the Virgin Group founder has been training hard for the challenge set by the world’s largest individually timed cycle race. Richard's busy travel schedule and Necker Island's lack of cycle paths has confined Branson to indoor training but he is, according to close sources, “tremendously excited” to be competing in the 109 km race where he will be one of approximately 35 000 cyclists to brave the route.

Managing Director of Virgin Active SA Ross Faragher-Thomas says “We are delighted that Richard is riding the race this year to join a large contingent of our staff and a significant number of entrants who are Virgin Active members. We can’t think of a better way to endorse our support of this fantastic race.”