Thieves steal 17 Factor bikes from Israel Cycling Academy training camp in Spain

It follows a number of other headline bike thefts in recent months

Factor bikes Israel Cycling Academy
(Image credit: Getty)

Thieves in northern Spain have stolen 17 bikes from Israel Cycling Academy.

The theft took place at an as yet undisclosed time close to Girona where the Continental team - a feeder team to the WorldTour outfit Israel-Premier Tech - are currently based during a training camp.

All 17 bikes were Factor One rim brake models, painted predominantly silver with black and red touches.

The team confirmed to Cycling Weekly that the bikes were fitted with Ultegra Di2, Vision carbon wheels and FSA power meter cranks.

They have appealed on social media for anyone with information to get in touch.

A recent study in the UK concluded that, on average, 1,100 bikes are stolen in the country every day, and in recent months there have been a number of high-profile thefts.

In October, the Italian track team had 22 bikes stolen at the World Track Championships in Roubaix, France, including four gold Pinarello Bolide bikes that helped power the men's team pursuit quartet to victory.

A few weeks later, however, the Italian federation recovered the bikes after Romanian police uncovered them during a drugs raid.

Ineos Grenadiers' Geraint Thomas was also a recent victim of theft when his Pinarello Dogma F12 was stolen outside a cafe in Menton, France, in mid-November while out on a training ride with EF Education-Nippo's Michael Valgren.

The 2018 Tour de France winner had to be taken home in a taxi, but was soon reunited with his bike after police stopped a 15-year-old who was riding the bike. 

"They saw a guy riding the bike and thought it didn't look right," he explained on his podcast, the Geraint Thomas Cycling Club. "They stopped him... saw my name on it, arrested him and took the bike."

Back in the UK, one amateur racer recovered three of his stolen bikes in November thanks to AirTag tracking devices that he had placed on the bike and which subsequently helped him accurately locate them within hours of their disappearance. 

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Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.

Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.