Two riders from the Gold Coast-based Team Downunder had their bikes stolen overnight at the Tour of Tasmania, forcing one to abandon the National Road Series, Scody Cup race.
The team sent out a plea around 7am Friday morning on their facebook page after waking up to discover their trailer had been broken in to with two Avanti Qunatum team bikes, still sporting race transponders and race numbers 82 and 84 had been stolen from their hotel in East Devonport.
The goodwill of the Budget Forklifts team, who gave Jayden Copp a replacement bike meant that his race wasn't over, but the other rider affected, Ben Cutajar was not as fortunate pulling out before Friday morning's fifth stage in Ulverstone.
For a small budget outfit like Team Downunder, the loss is a big one with a combined total of around $26,000 worth of equipment. Tasmanian Police are investigating the matter.
Team owner and co-sports director Garry Elliott told The Mercury that he was hopeful the missing bikes would be recovered.
"The punter off the street wouldn't know, he would probably go and try and sell it at the pub for $100, and that's what the police have said," Elliott explained.
"They are pretty confident they will turn up today, but if they have been taken to ride they might turn up in a month or something like that.
"We are from the Gold Coast and the population on the Gold Coast is nearly the size of the whole of Tasmania, if anything goes missing there word of mouth goes around and we get on top of it and find things.
"I'm hoping the same will happen here in Tassie."