British squad hit by bike theft at Tour of Britain as all 14 bikes stolen from mechanic’s van – just days after team’s rider was hit and “threatened” by 4x4 driver (2024)

Just days after Lifeplus Wahoo were rocked by the news that one of their riders was forced to miss this week’s Tour of Britain Women after being hit by an overtaking motorist at “high speed” on a narrow country lane, the British team’s participation in the race hungin the balance this morning after all 14 of the squad’s bikes were stolen in a shocking raid last night.

Ahead of Friday’s second stage of the revamped Tour of Britain Women in Wrexham, Lifeplus Wahoo announced on social media that thieves had targeted their base at a hotel in Shropshire, raiding their mechanic’s van and stealing the entirety of the squad’s range of Ribble bikes, leaving them without any bikes to race today’s stage– an act described by the squad’s co-founder Bob Varney as a “an absolute hammer blow to our over-achieving team already on a stretched budget”.

However, in response to the team’s shocking misfortune, several teams taking part in the race have loaned the Lifeplus Wahoo riders their spare bikes and equipment, meaning the squad – which includes U23 British time trial champion Maddie Leech and Dutch rider Babette van der Wolf, who finished 22nd on yesterday’s first stage to Llandudno – will take to the start of stage two in Wrexham.

British squad hit by bike theft at Tour of Britain as all 14 bikes stolen from mechanic’s van – just days after team’s rider was hit and “threatened” by 4x4 driver (1)

“We woke this morning to find all 14 of our Ribble Endurance SLR bikes stolen from our mechanic’s van,” the UK-based UCI Continental squad posted on social media this morning.

“We are hoping to find a solution to enable us to start in Wrexham today. Stolen from Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Whitchurch, Shropshire.”

Responding to Lifeplus Wahoo’s post, Jon Dutton, the CEO of British Cycling – who now organise the Tour of Britain Women following the demise of previous organisers SweetSpot – wrote: “Really sorry to hear this. Our team will do everything we can to help you this morning.”

(Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

But with today’s stage, a 140km loop starting and finishing in Wrexham, getting underway at 11.30am, Lifeplus Wahoo were certainly in a race against time to ensure the team could continue following last night’s shocking raid.

That is until, in a heartwarming act of generosity, several teamsalso taking part in the race,including SD Worx, Liv AlUla Jayco, Human Powered Health, and Cofidis, loaned the Lifeplus Wahoo riders bikes and equipment – with their mechanics also giving up their time to make sure everything was properly fitted – to ensure they could sign on in Wrexham.

Meanwhile, Ribble confirmed on Friday afternoon that the company was sending a new fleet of their Endurance SLR bikes to the race to enable the team to continue on to Sunday’s finish in Manchester.

“Wrexham we are here,” the team posted, just over two hours after announcing the break-in.

“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. We wouldn’t be starting without them!”

Thanks to the generous support of other teams in the peloton, @LifeplusWahoo will start today’s stage in Wrexham.#TourOfBritain https://t.co/ud5ySk1pqc pic.twitter.com/jatBY74neG

— Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain (@TourofBritain) June 7, 2024

Speaking to British Cycling in Wrexham, Lifeplus Wahoo general manager Tom Varney added: “We’ll be on the start line. We’re extremely grateful to the other teams for lending their equipment, and to their mechanics for giving their time to help us be there.

“The riders are obviously not starting with their own bikes due to the situation overnight, but we’ll be there on the start line and we’ll be ready to fight.

“The feeling is good from yesterday and we have to try to keep the morale high. The girls are super understanding of the situation and once they’re comfortable on the bikes they’ll be ready to go.”

West Mercia Police have also confirmed that an investigation is currently underway into the raid.

Wrexham we are here 💪🏼

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.

We wouldn’t be starting without them! pic.twitter.com/zwaT2Q1GL0

— Lifeplus - Wahoo (@LifeplusWahoo) June 7, 2024

>British cyclist to miss Tour of Britain after being hit by driver who tried to "squeeze huge 4x4 past at high speed" on country lane blind bend before returning to "verbally abuse and threaten" female rider

Despite the generosity of the peloton keeping them on the road, this morning’s disappointing news – the latest in a long line of targeted thefts at bike races – is the second bitter blow to have struck the unfortunate British team this week, after one of Lifeplus Wahoo’s riders, Kate Richardson, was ruled out of the Tour of Britain Women after suffering injuries when she was hit by an impatient driver who tried to overtake at “high speed” on a blind bend on a narrow country lane – and who then turned around to abuse the stricken cyclist.

Richardson, who won last month's Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix, was training near Holmfirth in Yorkshire on Monday morning when she was hit by the motorist and suffered a refractured scapula, road rash, and an “incredibly bruised and swollen right hip”.

British squad hit by bike theft at Tour of Britain as all 14 bikes stolen from mechanic’s van – just days after team’s rider was hit and “threatened” by 4x4 driver (3)

“Clearly the driver couldn’t wait ten more seconds to overtake me,” she said on Instagram. “He decided to try and squeeze his huge 4x4 past me at a high speed, hitting me hard and knocking me off my bike.

“Initially, he just drove on but turned around and came back later to verbally abuse and threaten me before getting back in his car and driving off again. Thankfully another driver came across the scene pretty quickly and kindly helped me up and drove me home.

“This of course means no Tour of Britain this week and I’m currently uncertain about what the rest of the season holds. This is a lot more than just a physical injury, it was incredibly scary and I count myself lucky that I walked away relatively unscathed compared to what it could have been. Mentally though, it will take a while to overcome.”

>“Thieves 0 - Team 1”: Bahrain Victorious hit with bike theft attempt on Milan-San Remo’s eve, but Sonny Colbrelli came to the rescue

Unfortunately, as noted above, raids on team vehicles at professional bike races are becoming increasingly common.

In March, a group of thieves attempted to steal Bahrain-Victorious’ Merida bikes the night before Milan-Sanremo, only to be thwarted by the team’s bus driver and 2021 Paris-Roubaix winner Sonny Colbrelli.

In 2021, 22 bikes were stolen from the Italian track cycling team during the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Roubaix, including Filippo Ganna’s gold-painted Pinarello.

The bikes were in a minibus in the car park, ready to be returned to Italy when they were taken. Some of the stolen machines were valued at around £25,000 and had titanium 3D-printed handlebars worth £8,500.

It was the Romanian police’s turn to come to the rescue then, as they recovered 21 of the bikes after a raid on14 properties in Vrancea County, along with mobile phones, drugs, and around £5,000 worth ofcash.

A few months later, British team Saint Piran were also the victimof a bike theft, the Cornwall-based squadlosing £30,000 of bikesstolen from a team van in the early hours of a race day in the Netherlands last June, leaving a "big dent" in theirfinances.

And then in November 2022, dominant women’s team SD Worx issued an appeal after several of the squad’s bikes were stolen in what wasdescribed as a “brutal burglary”.

Most recently,bike thefts targetingEuskaltel-Euskadi and Baloise Trek Lions left bothteams unable to race at Tour of Slovenia and Baloise Belgium Tour respectively, after thieves targeted the teams for their high-value kit, stealing their bikes and wheels overnight.

British squad hit by bike theft at Tour of Britain as all 14 bikes stolen from mechanic’s van – just days after team’s rider was hit and “threatened” by 4x4 driver (2024)

FAQs

What is the penalty for hitting a cyclist UK? ›

It is an “either way offence”, meaning it can be tried in either Magistrates' Court or Crown Court, but with a more significant maximum sentence of two years imprisonment in the Crown Court if convicted. In addition, a convicted driver will face an obligatory disqualification.

Do bike thieves go to jail? ›

Unlawful taking of a bicycle or vessel is a misdemeanor offense. If convicted of unlawful taking of a bicycle, a defendant can be sentenced to up to three months in jail and a maximum $400 fine (plus penalties and assessments).

How many pedestrians are killed each year by cyclists UK? ›

The official statistics shows 462 pedestrians were injured by cyclists in 2022, compared to 437 in 2021 when one person is recorded as dying, and 308 in 2020, when four people were killed. A 2011 DfT document lists the public places which need not be included in the Stats 19 data.

How likely is my bike to get stolen in London? ›

Bike theft is one of the most common types of theft in London, with an incident occurring every 16 minutes. Plus, just 1% of cases result in a charge or a police warning. However, if you do find yourself accused of bike theft, you can face time in prison.

What is the penalty for failing to stop after an accident UK? ›

What are the penalties for failing to stop? In the event that you are found guilty of failing to stop at the scene of an accident or failing to report an accident, the maximum penalty is a fine of up to £5,000, or six months' imprisonment.

What happens if you accidentally hit a cyclist? ›

Cyclists and motorists are meant to use public roadways in harmony, but that is not always the case. If you hit a cyclist with your car, the victim could make claims for anything from personal injury to property damage. In the event of a fatality, a relative or beneficiary of the victim could file for wrongful death.

How many cyclists are killed by cars every year? ›

Of the 1,230 bicyclist deaths in 2021, 853 died in motor-vehicle crashes and 377 in other incidents, according to National Center for Health Statistics mortality data. Males accounted for 88% of all bicycle deaths, over eight times the fatalities for females.

What is the leading cause of bicycle deaths? ›

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most bike accidents occur due to falls or collisions with cars.

How many cyclists are killed in London each year? ›

Around eight cyclists and 60 pedestrians die in London each year, and a further 2,000 are seriously injured.

Which bike gets stolen the most? ›

The snapshot of bike theft given in this index shows that mopeds, scooters and other smaller-engined bikes are most at risk of theft. This is seen as a reflection of the growing popularity of mopeds and scooters as commuter bikes. More generally, newer bikes are consistently most at risk.

Do bike thieves steal cheap bikes? ›

Any bike is easily stolen but not all bikes are worth stealing. Thieves most want bikes that will command a decent price and/or can be easily sold.

Where is bike theft most common? ›

The cities with the highest bike crime in the US include (somewhat predictably), New York and San Francisco!

Does car insurance cover hitting a cyclist? ›

When the driver is at fault: If the cyclist is hit by a car, the at-fault driver's auto liability coverage can pay for the cyclist's medical expenses and the cost to repair or replace the bike. If the driver is uninsured, the cyclist will need health insurance to cover injuries.

What happens if a cyclist hits a pedestrian on the pavement UK? ›

While the police might be a tad more lenient with first-time offenders, pavement cyclists can still get into a great deal of trouble if they injure a pedestrian or even if they cause damage to someone's property. As a pedestrian, you can initiate a personal injury claim against the cyclist in this case.

What is the fine for driving to close to a cyclist? ›

Penalty for a “Close Pass”

This means that if you are driving too close to a cyclist, it is possible that you can receive a fixed penalty of 6 penalty points and a £100.00 fine.

What happens if a kid hits your car with a bike? ›

When a bicyclist hits your car, you can pursue compensation the same way you would in a car accident. You have to determine who is at fault in the accident. If the fault rests with the bicyclist, you can sue for damages. You also have a right to legal representation.

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