Olympic rowing champion turned adventurer James Cracknell is out of intensive care after suffering a fractured skull and severe head injuries as the result of colliding with a truck in Arizona, USA, whilst cycling last week.

Cracknell left the intensive care unit in Phoenix hosptial after three days. Although improving, his condition is still serious as he has swelling to the frontal lobe of his brain. Recovery is likely to be slow, experts say.

Cracknell was attempting to cycle, row, run and swim from Los Angeles to New York within 16 days when the accident happened at around 5.30am on a quiet stretch of road outside Winslow, Arizona, on Tuesday, July 20. The trip was being filmed for the Discovery Channel.

“I was told that although he fractured his skull at the back, the brain injury is at the front, where his brain was catapulted forward as his helmet hit the road at high speed,” Cracknell’s wife, Beverly Turner, told the Daily Telegraph.

“He feels so passionately about bike safety and had just bought a new Alpina bike helmet that sits lower on the back of the head. It took the blow far more effectively than a normal helmet and kept the damage to a minimum.”

Cracknell was also planning on cycling from Canada to Mexico with fellow adventurer Ben Fogle. The 2,475-mile trip was scheduled to take place in August but has now been postponed.

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Cracknell fractures skull in collision with truck in Arizona