A long-distance cyclist preparing for the first non-stop unsupported bicycle race across the United States has had his bike stolen while training in France.

Edward Pickup, 23, had his bike and equipment stolen from a hotel in Lyon, after he left it in a supposedly secure car park overnight.

Mr Pickup says some of the equipment has taken years to accumulate, modify, and test so it performs exactly as he needs it to on long distance rides.

His family have rallied around him trying to help, including his grandmother, Betty Pickup, of Burley-in-Wharfedale.

He is raising money for the Special Boat Service Association, a charity which has supported his family since his father, Royal Marine Colonel Richard Pickup, died in 2009.

Colonel Richard Pickup was a commanding officer of the Special Boat Service, sister unit of the Special Air Service (SAS), and led a task force into Afghanistan after the al-Qaeda attacks of 9/11.

He died of a suspected heart attack at the age of 48.

Edward Pickup said: “As you can imagine, it has been a huge undertaking to get ready for the race and to have my bike taken from me with a month to go is heartbreaking. I'm currently in the process of putting together a new bike and equipment, but I'm facing an uphill struggle to make the start line.”

Visit edwardpickup.com to find out more about his ride.