The Sky cycling team, known as Team Sky, have announced that they will still be participating in the Tour du Haut Var despite having 16 bicycles stolen.
Although there was an initial question over the participation of Team Sky, they managed to pull some equipment together so that they could go ahead with the race.
“Team Sky has one of the biggest budgets in cycling but one of their riders is on borrowed equipment at this weekend's Tour du Haut Var after thieves stole 16 bikes on the eve of the race.
Sky's participation in the two-day event was initially thrown into doubt after team mechanics discovered the loss of all but two of the bikes the team had on hand in the south of France. They had been stolen from the support vehicle.
However, with the race start in Le Cannet-des-Maures not too far from their training base in Nice they have been able to get five more bikes to the start and borrowed another from the Bretagne-Séché Environnement Team.
"The thieves took all the bikes, bar two, and we presume they only left those because they'd run out of space in whatever transport they were using," Sky's race coach, Shaun Stephens, told the team's website. "They also took some of the spare training wheels, and various bits of other equipment.
"We're still able to take part in the race though and seven of our eight riders will be riding team-issue Pinarellos.
The two that were left in the van are going to be used and we managed to source five others from our training house in Nice, which is about an hour away from where we're staying. The remaining bike we've been able to borrow from the Bretagne-Séché Environnement team, who we've been sharing our hotel with. That was a really nice gesture from them and we appreciate it a lot. Things like that really show the spirit of cycling and we can't thank them enough."
Climber Sebastián Henao will take the borrowed bike on Saturday's sprint stage, while Chris Sutton is expected to be on board on Sunday.
"Racing so close to Nice, it's almost the best of a bad situation, because if it had been anywhere else in the world we'd have been in real trouble and probably not been able to take part," Stephens added. "Fortunately we had a lot of spare equipment there so we should be okay to continue without the need for any further replacements."
With the Tour de France winner, Chris Froome, at the Tour of Oman, and Sir Bradley Wiggins and Richie Porte at the Ruta del Sol in Spain, Sky's squad in France features Ian Boswell, Nathan Earle, and Josh Edmondson.”
Sky do not solely sponsor sports teams, their main service is digital television, on which you can often watch Team Sky compete. If you would be interested in receiving these services, use the Sky telephone number to speak with a member of their customer services team.
This article was originally published on: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/feb/22/team-sky-stolen-bikes-tour-de-haut-var
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