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Lotto Soudal suffer video equipment theft at Tour de France

Tim Wellens was protected by his Lotto Soudal teammates

Tim Wellens was protected by his Lotto Soudal teammates (Image credit: Getty Images)

Lotto Soudal have fallen victim to burglary at the Tour de France. Hours after Caleb Ewan's stage victory in Toulouse, thieves broke into the Holiday Inn in Blagnac, where the team was staying, stealing an estimated €50,000 worth of camera and video equipment.

Lotto were staying in the hotel on Wednesday evening, along with Cofidis and Groupama-FDJ, though only the Belgian team were targeted. The theft is thought to have taken place at around 9pm Wednesday evening.

"Five lenses, two cameras, two video cameras and a laptop have disappeared," Tom Peeters, a photographer working with the team during the Tour, said to Het Nieuwsblad. "That was a bit of a shock. I have one device left.

"Apparently they discovered on the surveillance cameras that someone followed me from my lobby to my room. Five minutes later he just walked out again."

Local police started an investigation, working in the hotel until 2:30 in the morning.

"We think it's a targeted action," said team press officer Arne Houtekier. "No bicycles or sporting equipment has been stolen. The thief deliberately targeted technical materials."

It's not the first time teams have been targeted by thieves this season, with Jumbo-Visma suffering the theft of a bike at the Critérium du Dauphiné, and Vital Concept-B&B Hotels losing 12 bikes to thieves at the Ruta del Sol in February.

The theft marks a low point in what has been a fantastic Tour de France for Lotto Soudal. Along with Ewan's stage win came Thomas De Gendt's breakaway win in Saint-Étienne, while Tim Wellens is currently wearing the polka dot jersey, having held the mountain classification lead since stage 3 of the race.

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