Europcar team has eighteen bikes stolen from team hotel in Tournai
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Friday, October 4, 2013

Europcar team has eighteen bikes stolen from team hotel in Tournai

by VeloNation Press at 6:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Theft happened during Eurometropole Tour, follows similar crimes at world road race championships

EuropcarFollowing the theft of the Garmin-Sharp and Synergy Baku bikes earlier this year plus the taking of the machines of the Russian and Danish national teams during the world road race championships, the Europcar squad is the latest to suffer at the hands of thieves.

The team is currently taking part in the Eurometropole Tour and stayed last night at the Hotel Panoramic Mont Sait-Aubert in Tournai.

According to the Belgian Nord Éclair publication, thieves broke into the team truck and took eighteen bikes, valued at an estimated ten thousand euro each.

It means that almost 200,000 euro of equipment has been lost, a big blow.

It is not clear if the same gang is in action and targeting the sport, or if there are several different groups responsible.

However it seems that whatever security precautions teams are taking are not sufficient to deter thieves.

Sebastien Chavanel, Jerome Cousin, Damien Gaudin, Yohann Gene, Tony Hurel, Sebastien Turgot, Christophe Kern and Julien Morice are the Europcar riders who are participating in the race. It is not clear if they will be able to get replacement bikes in time to continue.

When the Garmin-Sharp team’s bikes were taken during the Tour of the Mediterranean, other squads offered a loan of their spare machines so that the team could continue. However it ultimately decided to withdraw, believing it was too complicated to set up and to race unfamiliar bikes.

Update: The team will indeed continue in the race, being given bikes by two other squads.

“We will finish the Eurometropole Tour thanks to the solidarity of the peloton: two Belgian teams - Wallonia-Brussels and Color Code - lent us bikes,” stated directeur sportif Dominique Arnould to Ouest France.

“We have just six riders after the abandons of Christophe Kern and Damien Gaudin yesterday but we want to respect the race and the organizers.”



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