Italy suffer bike theft at Track World Championships

Italian teams members Simone Consonni Filippo Ganna Francesco Lamon and Jonathan Milan compete in the mens Team Pursuit qualifying during the UCI Track Cycling World Championships at JeanStablinski velodrome in Roubaix northern France on October 20 2021 Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI AFP Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTIAFP via Getty Images
The Italian men's Team Pursuit squad riding to gold on their now-stolen gold Pinarellos on Thursday (Image credit: Francois Lo Presti/AFP/Getty Images)

The Italian national team have been hit by a bike theft at the UCI World Track Championships after 22 bikes were taken from their hotel in Lille.

Italy has been the most successful squad at the Worlds in Roubaix this week, picking up seven medals including golds in the men's Team Pursuit and women's Scratch and Elimination races, but thieves have put a major dampener on the week after getting away the bikes on Friday night.

The Pinarello track bikes, which incorporate titanium 3D-printed handlebars and include the gold-painted bikes that Filippo Ganna, Liam Bertazzo, Jonathan Milan, and Simone Consonni rode to Team Pursuit gold on Thursday, have an estimated value running into the hundreds of thousands of Euros.

The bikes had been loaded into a minivan set for a return to Italy after being used at the Worlds and were thought to be secure after the Italian team selected a hotel specifically for its safety, said the head of the Italian delegation Roberto Amadio.

"They were well organised," Amadio said of the burglars to La Gazzetta dello Sport (opens in new tab). "We knew how difficult the trip could be from a [safety] point of view, so we chose to stay in a hotel with a private, monitored car park even if the commute each day was a bit more demanding.

"Evidently, even these measures didn't stop the perpetrators."

The bikes of Ganna, Bertazzo, Milan and Consonni are valued at around €30,000 each, with the handlebars alone thought to be worth over €10,000. La Gazzetta reported that local police are assuming that the theft is the work of professionals who knew exactly which van to target despite the safety measures in place.

The Track World Championships continues on Saturday and Sunday, with Italy's remaining competitors still able to compete – their bikes were kept in the Roubaix velodrome overnight.

Pinarello have appealed for information on the theft, noting that anyone who sees the bikes put up for sale can get in touch at infobike@pinarello.com.

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Daniel Ostanek
Production editor

Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Prior to joining the team, he had written for most major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly, Rouleur, and CyclingTips.

 

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France and the spring Classics, and has interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.

 

As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Daniel also runs The Leadout newsletter and oversees How to Watch guides throughout the season. His favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Volta a Portugal, and he rides a Colnago C40.