A BARNSLEY man has completed a gruelling 220-mile cycling challenge to raise funds for an autism charity.

Craig Hallas, 40, from Barnsley, served in the army for 12 years and on Sunday he cycled from Manchester to London in less than a day to raise money for charity Ambitious for Autism.

The 220 Manchester to London challenge was created by Simon Mottram, the founder and former CEO of cycling brand Rapha in 2014, and to date has raised over £1m for Ambitious about Autism.

Speaking about inspiration for taking part in the cycle, Craig said: “It’s an incredibly important cause.

“Looking at the work Ambitious about Autism does to support autistic children and young people makes it worth the effort this cycle requires.

“So many people either have a connection to autism or know someone who does and despite this, it’s not as well understood as it should be.

“I’m delighted to be able to raise awareness of autism and Ambitious’ work through taking part in this challenge.”

Jolanta Lasota, chief executive of Ambitious about Autism, said: “Completing this ride is a massive achievement and the result of months of training and astonishing stamina.  

“I’d like to thank all this year’s riders for their commitment to the cause the money they have raised through their incredible efforts will play a key role in helping us carry out our vital national work that ensures autistic children and young people can be themselves and realise their ambitions."