Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson.

Cape Town – Billionaire entrepreneur and serial adventurer Richard Branson is to take part in his first Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour next month.

The Virgin boss is said to be excited at tackling the 109km course.

Virgin Active SA PR and sponsorship manager Chantel Rall said Branson was “tremendously excited” to compete in the race, in which he would be one of about 35 000 cyclists to brave the challenging route.

Virgin Active SA managing director Ross Faragher-Thomas said: “We are delighted that Branson 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.”

The British corporate tycoon and author owns more than 400 companies, and is known for his adventurous side. In 1985, he made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the Atlantic by boat.

Two years later, he became the first person to cross the Atlantic in a hot-air balloon, the Virgin Atlantic Flyer.

Branson made waves in 2004 when he announced Virgin Galactic, the world’s first “space tourism” company, which is selling seats for $200 000 R1.7 million. Celebrities including Ashton Kutcher, Brad Pitt and Tom Hanks have booked their seats.

The Cycle Tour is on March 10. – Cape Argus