Wheels of Steal – Pro-teams suffer spate of stolen equipment

In what is becoming a regular feature of the early and late season races, pro-teams have again suffered a number of large scale equipment thefts in the past weeks. After Garmin’s high profile withdrawal of the Tour Mediterranean in February last year following the loss of 17 bikes from a team truck, 3 World Tour teams have lost significant amounts of bikes, wheels and other items this year. Garmin’s loss was estimated at €250,000 and was described as the work of ‘well-organised’ thieves. In a trend that will be causing huge concern to teams and suppliers this specific targeting of teams by seasoned criminals has continued in the recent weeks and months.

bicycle_thief

Garmin were by no means the only losers last year. Radioshack had 8 bikes stolen in Flanders and Europcar lost all theirs at the Euro Metropole Tour in October. Russian and Danish teams were also targeted separately at the World Champoinships in Florence losing more than 40 bikes between them. In each case team trucks were broken into. In the case of the Danish team many of the bikes were from the Junior squad who have to pay for the their own equipment.

Team Sky were latest to suffer with 16 bikes lost at the Tour du Haut Var last weekend. Once again professional thieves targeted a team truck during the night at a hotel. Unlike Garmin last year, Sky were able to source replacement bikes and make the start line . TheJerseyPocket spoke to  Team Sky mechanics and riders who were at the race to learn more.

Continue reading

None More Black – the shifting spectrum of the pro peloton

“It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.”

Nigel Tufnell. Spinal Tap.

The recent news that Cannondale’s new 2014 kit design will be a mainly black affair has been greeted by cycling’s fashion watchers with barely more than a raised eyebrow. ‘Copying Sky’ is the main criticism that most can muster and, given that nearly all pro teams are seeking to reproduce the British team’s training programmes or marginal gains techniques in some shape or form, that in itself is hardly a withering accusation. But, after years of what has often amounted to an arms race of garishness, is there more to this latest rejection of what has been termed elsewhere as ‘Euro Gaud’ than simply aping the most successful team around?


Colour Me Bad.

On one level Cannondale’s rejection of bright colour is an obvious way of turning their back on the team’s most recent incarnation as Liquigas. Constrained by the corporate colours of the Italian energy company, the team’s lime green kit was up there with the lurid pink of Lampre and the Day-glo yellow of ViniFantini for eye-watering loudness. Indeed, some lesser Italian races – when the finishes were often contested between multiple members of these three teams – were such a visceral assault on the eyes that they should really have carried some kind of warning for viewers of a sensitive disposition.

Continue reading