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Équipe Paule Ka was forced to withdraw from Tuesday’s Giro dell’Emilia after the team’s bikes were stolen Sunday night at the hotel in Bologna.
The team announced on Monday that their bikes were stolen from the Amatì Design Hotel in Bologna. They offered a €5,000 reward for the return of the seven team bikes, and it soon became clear Équipe Paule Ka was unable to get the reserve bikes to Italy before tomorrow’s Giro dell’Emilia in time, ultimately forcing the team to pull out of the race.
“It is with regret that we announce the withdrawal of Équipe Paule Ka from tomorrow’s Giro dell’Emilia,” read a statement from the squad. “Following the theft of our Chapter2 Huru and Rere bicycles from the team hotel in Bologna, there was insufficient time to replace the bicycles ahead of the event. Team management has decided there is therefore no other option but to withdraw from the race.”
The thieves took five white Chapter2 Rere models and two black Chapter2 Huru models, and Équipe Paule Ka has asked anyone with information to contact the team.
Équipe Paule Ka was supposed to ride the UCI Pro Series race with Elise Chabbey, Clara Koppenburg, Mikayla Harvey, Emma Norsgaard Jorgensen, Kathrin Stirnemann, and Maria Vittoria Sperotto. Last year, Nikola Nosková was third in the race for the team, which was called Bigla Pro Cycling at the time.
It’s not the first time this season that a pro team’s bikes have been stolen ahead of a race in Italy. On the eve of Strade Bianche, thieves broke through the roof of the Trek-Segafredo team truck and stole six of the team’s Trek bikes.
The team was able to take part in the race with spare bikes of, among others, the Trek Segefrado men’s team. Ellen van Dijk raced to 17th place in Strade Bianche on her compatriot Koen de Kort’s bike.