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.
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.