The Bahrain-Merida team has had 10 of its bikes stolen ahead of this weekend's inaugural Hammer Series competition. Nine of the team's Merida Warp TT bikes were taken from the truck outside their hotel, along with one Merida Reacto road bike.
The team says that it will still race, although it is likely the riders will have to use road bikes for the Chase event on Sunday, rather than time trial bikes. The team is staying near Limburg ahead of the event, which is due to begin on Friday.
"This morning, team Bahrain-Merida were faced with an unpleasant surprise: nine Time Trial bikes and one road bike were stolen from the team truck some time during last night," the team wrote on their website. "Despite this unfortunate event the team is ready for tomorrow's race. Rider's morale and motivation is high, although we will probably have to use road bikes for the Time Trial on Sunday.”
They are not the first team to fall foul of thieves in and around the Limburg region in the past season. In April, CCC Sprandi Polkowice had 18 of its bikes, plus spare wheels, taken from its hotel ahead of the Amstel Gold Race. The Polish team was lucky enough to get its equipment back before the race after it was found abandoned in a vehicle.
Nippo Vini Fantini also had 16 bikes stolen ahead of the Volta a Limburg in early April. Last season, LottoNL-Jumbo and Dimension Data reported attempted break-ins when they were staying in the region for the Eneco Tour.
The team has issued full details of the bikes that have been taken:
- 9 x Merida Warp TT complete bike with Fulcrum Disc wheel speed 360T and Dura Ace Di2 Groupset including SRM Power meter system
- 1x Merida Reacto complete road bike with Dura Ace Di2 Groupset including SRM Power meter system.
Anybody who has seen the bikes in the Limburg area is asked to contact the team on email@example.com.