Canadian Cyclist


September 24/07 11:03 am - Canadian Team Bikes Stolen in Stuttgart, Gerolsteiner steps in with Replacements

Posted by Editoress on 09/24/07

Courtesy Kris Westwood, CCA

Thieves broke into a Canadian team truck last night and made off with nine bikes, including all of the U23's road and time trial bikes and two of the team's spare bikes.

But within two hours of discovering the theft before breakfast, the team was already rolling on Specialized bikes loaned by the Gerolsteiner ProTour team, which is based just a few kilometers away from the Canadians' hotel.

"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 vehicle to gain access to its contents.

Within minutes of learning of the theft, Thomas Liese, a former German national team member and world champion who is working as assistant coach with the Canadian team, contacted Gerolsteiner to ask for his help. A few minutes later, Mr. Holczer gave the Canadians the green light to drive over to the Gerolsteiner service course and take what they needed. 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. Gerolsteiner even supplied several spare Schwalbe tubular tires.

"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."

The UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle also stepped forward with an offer of bikes, but by that time the Canadian staff was already loading the Gerolsteiner equipment onto the team car.

In the theft, Christian Meier and David Veilleux both lost two bikes each, while Ryan Anderson, Brad Fairall and Keven Lacombe lost one bike each. The CCA 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. It is yet to be determined what will be covered by insurance.


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