British time trial ace Alex Dowsett has admitted he isn’t sure he’ll feel safe at home any more following a “distressing” burglary at his home in Chelmsford while he is racing abroad in which his “pride and joy” time trial bike was stolen.
Dowsett appealed on Tuesday for help in finding the bike which was stolen over the weekend.
Speaking at the Dubai Tour where he is settling into his new role in sprinter Marcel Kittel’s lead out train, the former holder of multiple national time trial records said: “It’s my TT bike! It’s my pride and joy, but anyone who has been robbed knows it’s a bit like someone you love having cancer in that you never think it’s going to happen to you and then it does and everyone who it’s happened to has that story of distress.”
He added: “It’s your home, it’s where you feel safe and suddenly you don’t. They have clearly waited until I’ve gone away, I give an insight into my life freely on social media and someone has taken advantage of that.”
Dowsett continued: “My girlfriend is at home, it’s the first race of the year with a new team and it’s the last place I want to be right now I want to be at home with her looking after her. I’ve had a lot of support from friends that have offered to stay with her, my dad has gone to stay with her a bit.”
While Dowsett acknowledged that although it would be possible for thieves to know when he was away regardless of social media he doubted they had “the intelligence” to work that out.
“If they were that smart would they resort to robbery or would they be doing something worthwhile with their life?” he said.
The former Hour Record holder said the burglary happened over the weekend but that his girlfriend and father had decided not to tell him about it until after the first stage of the Dubai Tour, his first with Katusha-Alpecin, to avoid distracting him.
“It's one of those things people who love you want to protect you from what’s going on,” he said. “But also life does go on and you have to deal with those things.”
Dowsett revealed that the thieves only took his time trial bike but had tried to steal another as well. “I had a friend's Trek Madone he leant to me, it was on the side but it needed one wheel. They were smart enough to know to put that together but they put one of my Zipps in and the rim was too wide and it wouldn’t roll. So they just left it,” he said.
The 29-year-old revealed it was “lucky” his Hour Record bike and his Canyon road bike were not in the garage attached to his house where the time trial bike was stolen from. After revealing where they were he said, “I’m getting nervous just telling you that,” clearly concerned he might be inspiring further burglaries.
Dowsett said he was installing additional security measures following the robbery. “The house is a secure house and we’re upgrading even more now it’ll be like Fort Knox now,” he said.
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Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, World Championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the Middle East. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.
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