Russian Freerider Kirill Benderoni in a Coma

Oct 9, 2018
by Sarah Moore  
I ve been planning to go on a photo trip with Kirill ever since I first saw his videos. For me as a central European Russia has always been that crazy and kinda exotic country you probably never get a chance to check out yourself so I was extremely anxious to experience it first hand. When Kirill didn t get the chance to compete at the Rampage we decided to go on a road trip through Russia instead. It turned out to be a 4000km 12 day marathon scouting locations and looking for perfect natural features to shoot. When we found this abandoned mine we knew we had a great backdrop for some otherworldly photos. Kirill flipped the stepdown first try and went down after a couple of metres - this is the second try and he nailed it perfectly I shot it as a panoramic photo to be able to include the complete location which is also why the photo ratio is about 2 1. The original consists of 25 layers and has a resolution of roughly 70 megapixels Make sure to check it out in highres 1600px width for the best viewing experience


Kirill is a freeride mountain bike rider from Moscow, Russia, who has been making a name for himself in the international scene. His hard charging style and fearless determination landed him a wildcard invite to Rampage in 2013.


bigquotesOn September 21st, Kirill Churbanov - more commonly known as Benderoni - had a severe accident while riding on his home trails close to Moscow. He overshot one of his big backcountry gap jumps, broke his collarbone upon crash landing and was immediately knocked out by the impact. Kirill was wearing a full face helmet as well as a Leatt brace. He didn't regain consciousness and when he was delivered to a hospital about five hours later he was put in an artificial coma to help deal with his injuries.

He was diagnosed with a diffuse axonal injury and as of now, it is unclear how the future will look for him. A couple of days ago, Kirill woke up from coma and can follow persons with his eyes, reacts to touches and being talked to but cannot (yet) move again or talk or communicate in any other way. Kirill has health insurance in Russia, which is one of the few good news - unfortunately, the insurance will only cover a basic rehabilitation program which will not be sufficient for Kirill's type of injury. This is why we want to raise funds to be able to place him in a good medical program, specific for his needs. Any donations received will go directly to Kirill's family and will strictly be used for his treatment. In case there is some amount left, it will be donated to a charity of a similar kind. We thank you in advance for your help!
Ekaterina Ukraintseva



Photo by Sergey Makarov.

Kirill Benderoni

You can read our "Getting to Know" article with him here.

You can donate to the GoFundMe campaign his friends have set up for him here.


76 Comments

  • + 89
 Best wishes for his recovery. The giant drops he was hitting on his hardtail years ago, this guy's a G.
  • + 26
 Diffuse axonal injury is no joke, holding out some serious hope for our brother!
  • + 48
 Not cool at all. Super talented rider and always a fav to watch. Definitely will donate and wishing him the best in recovery.
  • + 37
 Had to use google to find out exactly what a diffuse axonal injury entailed. It's really not good. Think Schumacher.

"Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a brain injury in which extensive lesions in white matter tracts occur over a widespread area. DAI is one of the most common and devastating types of traumatic brain injury,[1] and is a major cause of unconsciousness and persistent vegetative state after severe head trauma.[2] It occurs in about half of all cases of severe head trauma and may be the primary damage that occurs in concussion. The outcome is frequently coma, with over 90% of patients with severe DAI never regaining consciousness.[2] Those who do wake up often remain significantly impaired.[3]"

Let's just pray he can regain any sort of decent life.
  • + 6
 Yea bike riding should be secondary at this point. I believe this is a similar type of injury as Kevin Pearce suffered snowboarding back in 2009.
  • + 1
 That’s horrific, I really hope he’s okay. Such a shame someone sooooo good has to have a crash like this. Fingers tightly crossed and hope his family are all strong too. Heal up man xx
  • + 1
 @HankBizzlet: read the same wikipedia yesterday...just horrible!!!
  • + 34
 That could have been me last weekend, just sent him $250,
not sure thats enough. best of luck brother!
  • + 26
 I wish you speedy recovery Kirill ! I´ ve seen many videos withyou and you´re one hell of a tough and unstoppable guy. You got this, I cant wait to see you ride again. Best of luck !
  • + 17
 Thank you guys, let's get him back on his feet as quickly as possible!!
  • + 14
 Poor guy, sending him healing vibes. Awesome to see some of the freeride guys donating some big bucks on his gofundme page too, respect
  • + 7
 Sad to hear about this. Wish a quick and full recovery. Was blown away of his recent attempt of an open loop double flip, hope he will be able to do such things again! (www.instagram.com/p/BlNsGwNHdPd/?hl=de&taken-by=kirillbenderoni)
  • + 7
 I don't enjoy seeing the stories such as this, but I appreciate Pinkbike posting them so more of us are aware of them and able to chip in what we can. Thanks PB!
  • + 7
 Gnarly. How hard to you have to go down with a brace and full face to get that specific injury. Hopefully the body keeps pushing through and the mind stays sharp!
  • + 2
 The jump was about 20 meters. He was seriously flew the landing and fell to the side.
  • + 11
 It’s weird, the crash doesn’t even have to be big. It’s more how you fall sometimes. I mean think of just enexpectedly tripping or slipping on ice while walking, and how hard you can slam your head/face on the ground. If you fall the right way your head can accelerate to a pretty substantial speed in just the 5-6 feet before it hits the ground.
  • + 4
 Just watched his getting to know vid. Seems to be a very skilled rider with excellent air awareness. Can’t imagine overshooting one of those gaps! Casing it absolutely but overshooting it? Can’t imagine hew big he must’ve gone. Feel terrible for him. What a sad ending. Diffuse Axonai injury is really bad and doesn’t generally have a good prognosis. All the best Kirill.
  • + 6
 wow I really hope he is able to have a full recovery and be back to riding again. A diffuse axonal injury is a horrible injury and one of the worst tbi's you can have
  • + 4
 f*cking tragic.... this is some bullllssssshhiiiiiiiittt. Your video (Kirill and Dima: going big at home) was so inspiring. Along with a couple of others its one that i rewatch the most. Поправляйся скорее!!!
  • + 1
 Really sad to hear that! Such a talented and totally genuine person. Followed everything that he posted and quite devastated to hear these horrid news. Healing vibes to Kiril.

Guys every little help counts as there're no big sponsors behind him and the health care in Russia leaves much to be desired.

Скорейшего выздоровления!
  • + 3
 Damn, sad to hear, devastating injury. Best wishes to Kirill and full recovery, be strong. Thank you for all the support guys.
  • + 1
 Super rad dude, I've been watching his segments for over a decade. I was so stoked to hear he got back in to riding these last few years. Sounds like a really bad accident to have. If anyone call pull through it would be Kirill though!!
  • + 4
 prayers for you my brother and your family.
  • + 4
 No money for bikes anymore. All spent on injured athletes.
  • + 2
 Like most people I've met in the mountain bike scene, seems like a true gem, kind hearted, living life to the full. Thoughts with family and friends right now...
  • + 1
 That's really bad news. I remember him from old school Mishanya's video Achtung 4. That video was a big inspiration for me and my buddies back in 2010. My prayers with you Benderoni, keep fighting!
  • + 1
 Donation done ... I hope you get well soon brother , there are many more brothers and sister riders that need help , don t be shy just ask for it...
  • + 0
 Sad for the dude, sad for the fact that one has to mention what protection dude wore during the accident to morons and safety first kind of people from trolling speculations and jusgements.
  • + 1
 Yeah we wanted to just make it clear from the get-go that he took the 'usual' precautions for riding and didn't ride in a careless way.
  • + 1
 @stupendousman: I understand it very well, I am glad that you mentioned it, but frankly, speaking between intelligent people, what difference does it really make now... the act of jumping a bike can be seen as an act of carelessness. Meanwhile riding a road bike among cars in traffic isn't. Cheers!
  • + 2
 he is a tought guy an will be back on a back no matter what

#getwellbenderoni
  • + 4
 #getwellbenderoni
  • + 2
 Will updates be posted here by his family? How can we monitor his recovery?
  • + 1
 Yes we will post updates! On the gofundme page and social media. Update intervals depending on the speed of his recovery . Hopefully daily Wink
  • + 3
 Healing vibes benderoni. You are strong. You will beat this.
  • + 3
 DONATE PLEASE !!!
  • + 2
 Pinkbike should bump this to the top of their page once a week or so
  • + 1
 You're spirit is a charging and fighting one. I hope he fights his way out of coma and best recovery. Get well brother
  • + 1
 Ah man, that's sad. All the best Kirill, hope you can make a recovery brother. My thoughts are with you.
  • + 1
 wishing him all the best and a speedy recovery....fingers crossed for you dude!
  • + 2
 We are behind you brother.
  • + 1
 Remember reading about Kirill some time ago, rad dude. Healing vibes Kirill's way , fingers crossed he pulls through all ok.
  • + 2
 Healing vibes to him and all his family and friends. YOU GOT THIS!!!
  • + 2
 Wishing him all the best.
  • + 1
 just donated. fingers crossed
  • + 1
 Get back on your feet soon fella
  • + 1
 healing vibes being sent out to you Benderoni
  • + 1
 Get well soon Mr. ACHTUNG
  • + 1
 Let’s be real about the risks
  • + 1
 Awful news. Here's hoping he does manage to recover.
  • + 1
 Healing vibes Benderoni! Ride on soon
  • + 1
 Best wishes for a full recovery brother!! Prayers are there!!!
  • + 1
 Fuck! Sending healing vibes man.
  • + 1
 wishing you a speedy recovery!!! huge respect
  • + 1
 This is so sad. Get well soon Kirill.
  • + 1
 I would send money by using Paypal, but doesnt work....
  • + 1
 Vibes and wishes don't help, donation might. let's try our best.
  • + 1
 all the good vibes for you man!!
  • + 1
 Donated. Please inform others and help this brother out.
  • + 0
 I hope he gets well in time to watch this month's Rampage
  • + 3
 That's....not realistic given the injury involved. He will be doing well to ever watch it again. it's the same injury as Michael Schumacher received and he is still in a vegative state almost 5 years later.
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: Indeed. We can but hope, sorry to be negative but I guess its a grim situation.
  • + 2
 Well, you gotta look at his situation realistically... everything is possible right now. Full recovery to no development at all. Let's just hope for the best!!!!
  • + 2
 @humoroususername @endlessblockades @stupendousman

There are some good news - Kirill now reacts to speech, can show tounge if asked, eats from spoon and started some training with speech therapist to move his mouth. This is very big success for now, but still there is very long and exspencive rehabilitation needed
  • + 1
 @Sirflyingv: excellent. While that sounds awful it's actually quite good progress so early considering the accident. Best wishes.
  • + 1
 @Sirflyingv: Awesome - thanks for the update. Best wishes for a full recovery!
  • + 1
 Get well
  • + 1
 Kirill is the man!
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