Thieves steal Russian bikes at the world championships

The Russian Elite men were unable to go for one last training ride on the eve of Sunday's road race after thieves stole their bikes from the mechanic's truck parked in the hotel in Prato.

Alexandr Kolobnev tweeted a photo of Italian police studying the empty Katusha team truck from where 16 bikes and other equipment were stolen.

"Police at work... Stolen ALL the bikes last night. No start tomorrow," Kolobnev wrote on his Twitter feed.

However it seems that Kolobnev and all the other riders will be able to race in the Elite men's road race. The Katusha service course is in Brescia, just two hour north of Florence. The Russian team is already building new bikes for the riders and they are expected to arrive in Florence later on Saturday.

It is not the first time that ladri di bicicletta (bicycle thieves) have targeted teams before major races.

In February thieves cleaned out the Garmin-Sharp team during the Tour Mediterranean in France, stealing 17 bikes, 60 sets of wheels and other equipment worth a total of 250,000 Euro.

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