Thieves have struck at the Amstel Gold Race, stealing 18 of their Guerciotti bikes and six sets of wheels from the CCC Sprandi Polkowice trucks on the night between Thursday evening and Friday morning. The Polish team said that it would still take part on Sunday and is arranging for replacement bikes to be shipped out to the Netherlands.
“Bad news from the Netherlands. On the night between Thursday and Friday, all of our bikes and spare wheels were stolen from our truck,” the team tweeted Friday morning. They called for any witnesses to come forward and to contact them with information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team confirmed to Cyclingnews that a police investigation is underway and CCTV footage is being reviewed. The truck was parked in the closed car park outside of the team's hotel. The missing equipment was noticed by one of the team's soigneurs when he went to pick up some items for breakfast.
The Professional Continental team said will not let itself be beaten. “Despite the circumstances we will take part in the Amstel Gold Race, as currently we are working on bringing spare bikes to the Netherlands.”
The spare bikes will be a mixture of the rider's training bikes, which will be picked up from their homes, and some bikes from the team warehouse which had not already been allocated to a rider.
"It happened on a guarded parking lot in front of our hotel in Valkenburg," directeur sportif Piotr Wadecki said in a press release on Friday afternoon. "All 18 bikes and spare wheels were stolen, despite the fact that the truck was equipped with car alarm and the door was blocked by another team car, parked right in front of it. We don't know how the burglars managed to go around the security system. Currently we are working on bringing training bikes to the Netherlands, so the riders can race on Sunday."
It is not the first time that a team has woken up to discover a truck empty of bikes at a race based in the Limburg region. Earlier this month, Nippo-Vini Fantini awoke to find that 16 bikes of their had been stolen, bikes on which they were to ride the Volta Limburg 2017 later that day. Last September, also in the Maastricht area, LottoNL-Jumbo and Dimension Data both reported attempted break-ins on their bike trucks during the Eneco Tour.
One of Limburg’s most famous cycling representatives, Tom Domoulin (Sunweb), tweeted, “This is gradually becoming an annual tradition around the Limburg races. I am deeply ashamed as a Limburger ...”