• Cycling

Team Sky have 16 bikes stolen before race

ESPN staff
February 22, 2014
Team Sky borrowed a bike from the rival Bretagne-Seche Environnement team © Getty Images

Team Sky have been forced to borrow a bike from a rival team for the Tour de Haut Var in France after thieves stole 16 of their own on the eve of the race.

Both Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins are absent from the two-day race, with Team Sky fielding a youthful line-up. Froome is at the Tour of Oman, while Wiggins is competing in the Ruta del Sol in Spain.

Team Sky's support vehicle was broken into at their hotel in Trans-en-Provence.

The Bretagne-Seche Environnement team, who were sharing the same hotel, loaned Team Sky a bike with coach Shaun Stephens saying it "showed the spirit of cycling".

Stephens told the team's website: "The thieves took all the bikes, bar two, and we presume they only left those because they'd run out of space in whatever transport they were using. They also took some of the spare training wheels, and various bits of other equipment.

"We're still able to take part in the race though and seven of our eight riders will be riding team-issue Pinarellos. The two that were left in the van are going to be used and we managed to source five others from our training house in Nice, which is about an hour away from where we're staying.

"Our head of operations, Carsten Jeppesen, made the trip there to pick up whatever he could. We've got various training bikes and spare components, so fortunately the show goes on.

"That was a really nice gesture from [the Bretagne-Seche Environnement team] and we appreciate it a lot. We can't thank them enough."

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