FORMER Olympic racing cyclist Dudley Hayton and businessman Simon Thomas cycled 250 miles from London to Ilkley to help underprivileged children.

Dudley and Simon, a trustee for the Skipton based children’s charity, The Principle Trust, began their ‘Olympic cycle home’ at the Olympic Park, London, on August 18, and finished at Ilkley Rugby Club four days later, on the following Sunday.

They cycled around 70 miles a day and although it was ‘tough at times’ were determined to make it to the finishing line.

Amongst those waiting for them at the finish were the charity’s founder, Mike Davies MBE, and Councillor Alan Sutcliffe, chairman of Craven District Council, who has chosen to support the charity, which sends underprivileged, disadvantaged and disabled children on holiday breaks to its holiday lodges, during his year in office.

Shipley-born Dudley Hayton, competed at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada, in both the individual road race and the team time trial events. He is passionate fundraiser and has supported many charities over the years.

Simon Thomas of Greenholme Carpets Flooring, Otley, is also no stranger to cycling and has raised money for The Principle Trust before.

He has completed numerous fundraising challenges, including the 127 mile Liverpool to Leeds canal walk; The Yorkshire Three Peaks and the 82- mile Dalesway Walk, and most recently a marathon walk around Ilkley.

He said: “Dudley Hayton was a childhood hero of mine, and having the opportunity to cycle alongside him was a real honour. Dudley shares my passion in helping others, especially children who suffer from mental and physical disabilities.

“We cycled over 70 miles every day, it was a tough cycle at times, but knowing that what we were taking on was raising vital funds for local children in need of respite certainly kept us going.”

So far, the fundraising duo have raised more than £8,500 with donations still coming in.

The money will mean will mean 21 children and their families will be sent on a free week-long respite break to one of the charity’s holiday homes.

Since The Principle Trust Charity was founded in 2011, through donations and fundraising it has provided more than 3,600 underprivileged, disadvantaged and disabled children and their families with a free week-long respite break.

It’s not too late to support Simon and Dudley efforts.Visit: