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Gerolsteiner gives Canadian worlds squad a Specialized hand

The Canadian national team will still contest this week's World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany despite having the majority of its bikes stolen by thieves on Monday. German ProTour squad Gerolsteiner, which is based just a few kilometres from the Canadian squad's hotel, will supply the team with its Specialized bikes to use for the event.

"Everyone we have spoken to is shocked that this theft happened here in the small town of Herrenberg," said Canadian team manager Kris Westwood. "Several teams have been staying at this hotel for the Drei-Länder-Tour during the past few days with no problems, and Gerolsteiner manager Hans-Michael Holczer told us he hasn't had a theft from his bike shop in 20 years."

The thieves cut through a rubber gasket and removed an entire window from the squad's team truck, taking off with nine bikes, including all of the U23 road and Time Trial bikes and two spare bikes.

Within minutes of learning of the theft former German national team member Thomas Liese, who is working with the Canadian squad at the event, contacted Gerolsteiner to ask for its help. A few minutes later, team manager Hans-Michael Holczer gave the Canadians the green light to drive over to Gerolsteiner's base and take what they needed.

"Cycling is a small family and it's normal for teams to help each other out," said Westwood. "But I have never seen a team act with such generosity on such short notice, and I can't thank Gerolsteiner management enough for their help."

By late morning, the team was fully equipped with five Specialized road bikes and two Time Trial bikes, 10 sets of Shimano road wheels, four Pro disk wheels and two Pro four-spoke front wheels.

Christian Meier and David Veilleux both lost two bikes each in the theft, while Ryan Anderson, Brad Fairall and Keven Lacombe lost one bike each. The Canadian Cycling Association lost two distinctive red-and-black Louis Garneau bikes with 'Canada' painted on the seat tube, as well as four sets of Shimano spare wheels.

The UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle also stepped forward with an offer of bikes, but by that time the Canadian staff had already secured equipment from Gerolsteiner.

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