Team Tibco to the Top got off to a rough start before the 2012 Exergy Tour in Boise, Idaho, when thieves made off with the squad's supply of race machines from a trailer in the hotel parking lot early Wednesday morning. But by Wednesday afternoon Boise police announced that all of the bikes had been recovered following a citizen tip.
The UCI 2.1 race starts Thursday evening with a 3.2km opening prologue time trial in downtown that partially runs along the edge of the Boise State University campus.
The team trailer was parked at the Holiday Inn Express when the theft occurred. Police originally recovered six of the team's racing bikes locked together to a bike rack near BSU after officers received a citizen tip just before noon. A search of the immediate area resulted in the recovery of the remaining seven bikes. All 13 of the stolen bikes have now been recovered from three locations on the BSU campus.
“We want to thank the citizen who took the time to call police and help us recover these bikes as quickly as they did,” said Boise Deputy Police Chief Pete Ritter. “This type of cooperation between police and the citizens we serve is exactly the type of partnership that helps make Boise the great place to live that it is.”
Detectives said the bikes appear to be undamaged as far as they can tell, and they are working to process the bikes for evidence as quickly as possible to return them to the riders. Detectives continue to investigate the theft as they work to determine who may be responsible. Boise Mayor Dave Bieter praised the citizen tipster and the police, saying the high-profile theft “would not stand” in his town.
Team Tibco to the Top leader Megan Guarnier said she and her teammates tried not to fret about the situation on the eve of the biggest women's race in the country. “But the management definitely had their hands full. There was only so much as a rider we could do,” she said. “So we were just trying to look forward and problem solve.”
Guarnier said every rider on the team had a bike to ride in the event that the stolen ones didn't show up, whether or not is was the “optimal” machine. But now the riders can turn their full attention to the race, which ends Monday, May 28, after the prologue and four stages.