A drugs bust by Romanian police uncovered an unexpected haul, as officers found 21 bikes that had been stolen from that Italian track team, including Filippo Ganna’s gold Pinarello.
The Romanian Organised Crime Brigade in Galați, eastern Romania, has uncovered activity by a criminal group operating out of the area, believed to be involved in trafficking illegal drugs and theft.
While executing 20 arrest warrants on Thursday (October 28), officers carried out a raid and discovered a gang that were shipping cocaine into the country, with the aim of distributing it in Vrancea and Bacau counties.
During the search, police also discovered stolen goods from other European countries, most notably the bikes stolen from the Italian national team at the track World Championships earlier this month.
On Saturday, October 23, thieves stole 22 bikes from the Italian national team at their hotel in France, worth an estimated total of €600,000.
The Pinarello machines had been packed away in a van following the individual pursuit at the Worlds and left in a secure parking at the hotel in Lille.
Among the bikes, which were all custom-built with unique colours and 3dDprinted handlebars, was Filippo Ganna’s one-of-a-kind gold Pinarello Bolide track bike.
While searching 14 properties, Romanian police have now recovered 21of the stolen bikes, including Ganna’s, along with eight interactive screens, a DVR, 10 mobiles phones, two grams of hashish (a cannabis variant), €2,800 and 13,850 Romanian Leu (around £2,300).
Officers said four suspects have been arrested and remain in custody.
Following the theft, Pinarello said: “We are shocked to hear that most of the bikes from the Italian national team have been stolen last night from the hotel where the team was sleeping!
"All bikes are painted with unique colours and most of them with custom 3D printed handlebars which are very important for the athletes.
“We please ask our community of followers and fans to report to email@example.com if you see any of these bikes being sold online or around.”
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Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.
Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.
Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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