Belgian team Lotto-Soudal have been the victims of burglars at their team hotel after stage 11 of the 2019 Tour de France.
The WorldTour team were staying at a hotel in Blagnac, near Toulouse where stage 11 finished on Wednesday when they suffered the theft of equipment estimated to be worth around €50,000, according to a team spokesperson.
The took place around 9pm on Wednesday at the Holiday Inn in Blagnac, when thieves took equipment from the room of a Lotto-Soudal cameraman, including computers, video and photo cameras, and lenses.
A spokesperson for Lotto-Soudal told Cycling Weekly: “At around 9.30pm last night there was a burglary in the room of our cameraman.
“They stole cameras, photo and video camera and lenses worth about €50,000. We called the police. There are cameras in the hotel so they are analysis the images and they hope to find the person responsible.”
Groupama-FDJ and Cofidis were also staying in the same hotel. Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad said the police were called and stayed until 2.30am doing forensic work, reporting that an American TV channel was also robbed. French police only commented to say “we’ll catch him,” says Het Nieuwsblad.
Lotto-Soudal have had a stellar 2019 Tour de France so far. Breakaway specialist Thomas De Gendt handed the team a stage victory after a sensational ride on stage eight to Saint-Étienne, holding off the attacking Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) to take the win having been in the breakaway all day.
The team followed that up with a stage victory the day of the robbery. Australian Caleb Ewan, riding his first Tour de France, took the victory in a photo finish with Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen into Toulouse.
Tim Wellens has also held the polka dot jersey of the king of the mountains competition since stage three, but his lead may come under threat as the Tour hits its first Pyrenean stage on Thursday for stage 12.
The stage takes a category four climb before two category one climbs, the Col de Peyresourde and the Horquette d’Ancizan before the finish in Bagnères-de-Bigorre after 209.5km.