Competing in a multi-stage bike race is hard enough at the best of times.

But for UK-based team Lifeplus-Wahoo, things got a whole lot more difficult at the Tour of Britain when thieves stole all 14 of their race bikes ahead of the second stage.

“We woke this morning to find all 14 of our Ribble Endurance SLR bikes stolen from our mechanic’s van,” the team wrote on Twitter/X.

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“We are hoping to find a solution to enable us to start in Wrexham today.”

The bikes, with a combined value of more than $107,000, were stolen out of the van which was parked in a hotel car park in Whitechurch, Shropshire.

Fortunately, the rest of the teams at the race rallied together to cobble together enough bikes to start the second stage — a hilly 140 kilometre ride around Wrexham/Wrecsam in Wales.

“All of our thanks and appreciation goes out to the many teams that offered and gave their spare team bikes and their mechanics time to get our girls on the road,” the team wrote.

“We wouldn’t be starting without them.”

The team rode an assortment of other team’s bikes on the second stage, before its sponsor provided a new set of bikes ahead of stage 3.

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Rider Maddie Leech even ended up being a part of the breakaway, riding her daily training bike as opposed to her race bike, although she lost contact due to a mechanical issue.

West Mercia Police appealed for witnesses in a statement, saying an investigation has been launched.

The four-stage race finishes in Leigh, Greater Manchester, on Sunday, local time.

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Posted 4h ago4 hours agoSun 9 Jun 2024 at 12:04am, updated 4h ago4 hours agoSun 9 Jun 2024 at 12:16am