Motivational speaker left in intensive care after being hit by car during John o’Groats to Land’s End attempt

Jean-Pierre de Villiers was just days away from completing the charity ride when he was struck by a car

A motivational speaker was left in intensive care with life threatening injuries when he was hit by a car during a John o’Groats to Land’s End attempt.

Jean-Pierre de Villier is still in hospital two weeks after being hit by a driver, being just days away from completing the 1,000-mile charity ride.

The crash happened in the North Devon seaside resort of Ilfracombe and police have arrested a 69-year-old man on suspicion of four offences, including dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

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De Villiers was taking on the monster ride with Callum O’Brien, who was able to finish the ride alone to continue raising money for Macmillan Cancer support and the Addie Brady Foundation.

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The pair were eight days and 800 miles into the trip when 37-year-old De Villiers, from Yorkshire, was struck by a car at around 7.15pm on Wednesday, May 22.

He was airlifted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth with life-changing arm and leg injuries.

A post on De Villiers Instagram page after the crash said: “The car (travelling uphill) hit him with such force that he went over the car and flew over the barriers on the hill and was wedged in between a tree and a barrier that stops cars going off the side of the road.

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“His bike was shattered to pieces.”

After multiple surgeries, De Villiers left intensive care this week and will be transferred to a hospital in Coventry, closer to where he lives.

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Donations for his charity efforts have shot up in the wake of his crash, currently sitting at £21,000.

You can view the fundraising page here. 

Police arrested a 69-year-old man from Ilfracombe on suspicion of dangerous driving, taking a vehicle without consent, driving while disqualified and driving while unfit.

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De Villiers is a life coach, international speaker and author, a former professional cyclist as well as Thai boxer, and Ironman triathlete.

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.