Doncaster war hero Ben Parkinson completes D-Day bike challenge ahead of 1,500 mile New Zealand trek

Ben Parkinson and the team that completed the charity challenge to Pegasus Bridge.
Ben Parkinson and the team that completed the charity challenge to Pegasus Bridge.

Doncaster war hero Ben Parkinson has completed his latest sporting challenge - ahead of a gruelling 1,500 trek across New Zealand later this year.

Britain's most badly injured soldier was part of a team which rode to the famous Pegasus Bridge in France to honour the heroes of D-Day.

Ben was one of several injured servicemen who cycled to the bridge that was captured by airborne forces during World War 2 in 1944 and played a critical role in making the Normandy landings a success.

The soldier, 31, who was severely wounded in Afghanistan, undertook the challenge for a much bigger challenge later this year.

The group of injured soldiers will take part in the Pilgrim Bandits gruelling 1,500 mile recumbent cycle expedition in New Zealand in October and November.

The month long event will see three international teams from the UK, Canada and New Zealand use recumbent bikes to tackle a route from the most southern point to the most northern point of New Zealand.

Working with The NZ Defence Force and New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment Association, this will be the first distance event of this kind and it is hoped it will become an annual challenge with Operation Ride being hosted by the winning team in 2020.

Operation Ride will cover 100 miles of challenging terrain per day.

Ben, who had both legs amputated, suffered serious brain injuries and more than 30 other injuries after a roadside bomb in Afghanistan exploded, has undertaken a series of charity challenges in recent years.