Cycling team has entire fleet of £5k bikes stolen hours before Tour of Britain stage | Other | Sport

A British cycling team woke up on Friday morning to see all 14 of their top-spec bikes stolen only hours before Stage 2 of the Tour of Britain Women. The Lifeplus-Wahoo team took to social media to appeal for help, with British Cycling and rival teams stepping in.

The Ribble Endurance SLR bikes retail at a staggering £5,000 each, and they could be worth significantly more with the kind of costly upgrades required for top-level road racing.

That takes the total value of the robbery, which occurred when thieves broke into a mechanic’s van overnight at the Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel in Shropshire, to at least £70,000.

“We woke this morning to find all 14 of our Ribble Endurance SLR bikes stolen from our mechanic’s van,” the team’s official account posted on X shortly after 8am (BST). “We are hoping to find a solution to enable us to start in Wrexham today. Stolen from Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Whitchurch, Shropshire.”

British Cycling chief Jon Dutton was among those to respond to the message, as he wrote: “Really sorry to hear this. Our team will do everything we can to help you this morning.”

A little over two hours later, the Lifeplus-Wahoo team announced that they received vital help in time to begin the second stage. “Wrexham we are here,” they wrote.

“All of our thanks and appreciation goes out to the many teams that offered and gave their spare team bikes and their mechanics’ time to get our girls on the road. We wouldn’t be starting without them!”

Bike thefts have struck the Tour of Britain Women in the past, with team Trek-Segafredo seeing around £50,000 worth of equipment stolen from a car park in Swansea only two years ago.

At a race in the Netherlands last year, team Saint Piran suffered a £30,000 bike robbery, while two separate teams were left unable to compete at the Tour of Slovenia and the Baloise Belgium Tour last season following overnight thefts.

The latest team to fall victim to the growing trend, Lifeplus-Wahoo, had already been forced to process bad news earlier this week. One of their riders, Kate Richardson, was left unable to compete in the Tour of Britain after being hit by a car, which left her with a refractured shoulder blade, road rash and a bruised hip.

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