Italy's golden track bikes have been stolen from their hotel at the Track World Championships in Roubaix.
The gold bikes of Olympic quartet Filippo Ganna, Simone Consonni, Jonathan Milan and Francesco Lamon, worth €30,000 each, are included among the 20 bicycles stolen by thieves, the total financial damage amounting to several hundred thousand euros, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport (opens in new tab).
The bikes had been packed away in a van following the individual pursuit, the vehicle left in supposedly secure parking at the team's hotel in Lille on Friday night.
“They were well organised," the irritated head of the Italian team, Robert Amadio said. "We knew this could happen, so we chose to stay in a hotel with its own controlled parking. Apparently, even that didn't stop the perpetrators…”
Luckily, the Italian athletes set to compete on Saturday and Sunday weren't affected, as their equipment had been left in the velodrome in Roubaix.
Despite their haul, the burglars may struggle to sell their stolen goods as some of the bikes being custom made.
Pinarello, the brand of the stolen bikes, has appealed for anyone who sees the bikes being sold online to get in contact.
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"STOLEN! 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!" Pinarello said in a statement.
"All bikes are painted with unique colors 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."
On the track, Italy has made history in Roubaix, Letizia Paternoster winning the first-ever women's rainbow jersey in the Elimination race.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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