Currently competing in France at the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche, Team BikeExchange woke up on Sunday morning to find that 12 of its Bianchi team bikes had been stolen.
The peloton came to the rescue, with Trek Segafredo, Liv Racing, and Movistar all lending spare bikes to BikeExchange, an act of kindness that allowed the Australian team to start the fifth stage of the seven-stage race.
Despite the misfortune, BikeExchange’s Ane Santesteban continues to hold second place in the general classification, nine seconds behind current race leader Leah Thomas (Movistar).
News of stolen team bikes in professional cycling is unfortunately far more common than it should be. In just two recent examples, the Trek-Segafredo women’s team suffered the same fate at last year’s Strade Bianche, and Équipe Paule Ka was forced to withdraw from the 2020 Giro dell’Emilia after its team bikes were stolen.