After waking up on Friday morning to the realisation that their bikes and spare wheels had been stolen, Polish team CCC Sprandi Polkowice got some good news as the police found most of the missing equipment on Friday evening.
According to local news outlet Limburger.nl, the police found the bikes in an abandoned car on a dead-end street in the village of Sibbe not far from the finish of the Amstel Gold Race. The car was subsequently towed by the police and the bikes were returned to the CCC Sprandi Polkowice team.
"Apparently thieves got scared, because the news about the burglary was spread widely across Europe," directeur sportif Piotr Wadecki said in a press release. "They left most of stolen bikes in the car, which they abandoned near Valkenburg. Two bikes and few wheels are still missing, and we hope we will get them back too, but we are happy that most of the equipment was found.
"Police agreed to give out our bikes to us, and the spare bikes arrived from Poland. Now we have excess of equipment, but in this situation it’s the “problem” we like to have. Despite retrieving the bikes, the investigation is still ongoing and the officers are still looking for perpetrators. We really appreciate great work done by the local Police and we are very grateful for their help. We also want to thank everyone who spread the news on the Internet and social media. Even though all of our bikes are insured, we hope that this is the last time we had to deal with such an issue."
The team, who rides bikes provided by the Italian manufacturer Guerciotti, had 18 bikes stolen along with six sets of spare wheels from their truck, despite the car park being guarded and the truck being fitted with an alarm. The truck was parked outside the team’s hotel, where they are staying ahead of their participation at the Amstel Gold Race.
While the police immediately began an investigation into the theft, the team was forced to source replacement bikes on the likely occasion that the bikes would not be found.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice is not the first team to fall foul of thieves while staying in the Limburg region. Nippo-Vini Fantini had 16 of their bikes stolen during the Volta Limburg earlier this month, while LottoNL-Jumbo and Dimension Data survived an attempted break-in while staying in Maastricht during last year’s Eneco Tour.
Easter miracle! The stolen bikes were found in an abandoned car! Thank you for your help in spreading the news. We beat the burglars! pic.twitter.com/OtNpYIwtFA— CCC SprandiPolkowice (@CCCProTeam) April 15, 2017