Garmin – Sharp to hold training camp for riders forced out of Tour of Mediterranean by bike theft
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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Garmin – Sharp to hold training camp for riders forced out of Tour of Mediterranean by bike theft

by VeloNation Press at 1:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Team regrets ‘big loss’, thankful for support

Cervelo S5Responding to the loss of over a hundred thousand euros’ worth of equipment today, the Garmin Sharp team is seeking to minimise the effects of the bicycle theft which occurred overnight at the Tour of the Mediterranean.

Team CEO Jonathan Vaughters has confirmed that the riders who were forced to leave the race two days earlier than planned will get together shortly for a training camp, with this enabling them to continue to build their form and also to get set up on new machines.

A total of seventeen bikes were taken today, along with several sets of wheels and other equipment. The team ha confirmed that local police are investigating the theft, which occurred when thieves moved the team vehicle blocking the door to the team truck and then forced their way inside.

“This is a big loss for the team, not just from an equipment standpoint, but because the Tour of Med was a huge goal for us and the team was in great shape for it,” said Vaughters in a team statement.

“Due to the theft, we were forced to withdraw. However, we are proud of the team and grateful to our sponsors – everyone has pulled together to help find solutions. We're in the process of planning a camp for the team that was not able to continue at the race. We're very grateful to our dedicated riders, staff and sponsors for pulling together in this difficult time.

“We're also grateful for the support we have received from local authorities and other teams, some of whom offered to help us continue the race by loaning us equipment - although that ultimately proved to be too difficult, the offers were deeply appreciated.”

The team had several riders who were aiming for today’s Mont Faron stage and also for the general classification; these were the American Andrew Talansky and the Lithuanian Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp, who were sitting eleventh and twelfth in the overall classification, as well as the Irish climber Dan Martin.

They could have taken up the offer of loan bikes but with the hassle of finding the correct pedals and setting up the position as close as possible to their usual configuration, the unfamiliarity of different brand equipment on a tough climbing stage and also the possibility of picking up an injury niggle through the changes, the team decided to play things safe.

It's a setback, not least because the race was a goal, but Vaughters states that Garmin-Sharp will fight back from this difficult point.

“In every difficult situation you have to look for the good and we are proud of how everyone on our team, including our sponsors, have come through. This experiences gives us even more motivation in our next races.”


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