Former time trial ace Matt Bottrill was the victim of a raid by a bike thief at the weekend, who made off with a unique TT machine.
The 46-year-old, who is a former national champion across multiple time trial distances, and a record-setter, had his Giant Trinity stolen, along with his Giant TCR Advanced Pro 0 road bike, during the robbery on the Leicestershire unit he uses to store his equipment.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, the unit was broken into, with the criminal breaking through a wall to get to the bikes. While other parts were also stolen - the former time triallist now runs a shop for specialist equipment too - it is the bikes he is "most worried about really" due to their unique nature.
"One of them has unique components on them, which is very frustrating, or it just adds to it anyway," Bottrill told Cycling Weekly on Tuesday.
"One is a normal Giant TCR, the Advance 0, but the other one is a Giant Trinity, which has custom parts on it. It has handlebars on it that you can't even buy yet, and it has some team edition Cadex wheels which are special. I don't know what to do really."
In an Instagram post, the Trinty is described as small, with a Cadex four-spoke wheel on the front, and a disc wheel on the back. It has a unique Drag2Zero TT bars on the front, along with a rare Stride saddle with carbon rails. Its frame number is G5GF07222.
Meanwhile, the stolen TCR is blue, and large. In the Instagram post Bottrill jokes that the front brake needs bleeding.
"It's like all of these things, you can only put it on social media and hope that somebody sees something, picks up on it," he said. "There's not much hope really, but I really want that Trinity back, but I'm thinking I'll never see it. It's a pretty common thing now, but if the thieves were smart, there were some things in there that they could have taken and got rid off easily.
"They took lots of bike chains too, but didn't take the more expensive Ceramicspeed ones for some reason.
"I think he knew he was taking bikes, but it doesn't feel like it was organised."
It might be a long shot, but Bottrill is going to keep searching for his unique bikes. Leicestershire Police are investigating, but the suspect was not caught on CCTV.
"It's a small world, the cycling community looks after everybody, so hopefully we hear something," he said.
The postman-turned-time triallist is not alone suffering from bike theft.
This year, a spate of aggressive robberies has shaken a cycling club in North London.
In the latter half of this year, members of the city based group Regent’s Park Rouleurs have been targeted on at least three separate occasions, in one case, the rider "crashed, blacked out and woke up in hospital".
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request showed that in the last 12 months, there were 768 incidents of bicycle 'robbery' in London - the Metropolitan Police classes robbery as 'theft with the use of force or a threat of force'.
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