Team Type 1 – Back in action after bike theft

3 Apr

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A week after the theft of thousands of euros worth of bikes and equipment while on the the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, the affected riders on the American Team Type 1 – sanofi-aventis squad have returned to racing.

Several of them competed yesterday in the 198km Route Adelie de Vitre, using equipment that the team had put together in recent days.

“We got a few emergency shipments from Shimano and their Pro components division, and our US-based staff is flying over today with new TT frames from Colnago,” said team PR Chris Baldwin to VeloNation. “We should be ready for the Circuit de la Sarthe with no lack of equipment. The mechanics are getting new tool kits as well.

“Dialling it all in will be a time-consuming project, but we’re confident that we can get ready.”

The team was forced to withdraw from the Coppie e Bartali race when thieves broke into their vehicles outside the hotel in Zola Predosa. They smashed the front window of a team car, climbed inside to release the brakes and then pushed the car back from the rear door of the panel van used to store equipment. The locks on the side and back doors were then forced off and everything inside were stolen.

A large luggage door underneath the team bus was also prised open and the bikes mounted in the storage bin under the bus were stolen too.

“I think it happens two or three times a year in Italy. It is some organised group and we were the victims, sadly,” team spokesman Chris Baldwin said.

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The team management and mechanics have worked hard since then to put the riders back on the road. Eight from the team lined out in yesterday’s race and Laszlo Bodrogi finished 18th, rolling home in the main bunch one minute 12 seconds behind the victor Renaud Dion (Bretagne – Schuller). Javier Megias also took part, and the Type 1 diabetic described afterwards how things played out.

“Laszlo drove the first break, but there were too many teams in it to stay away. Our group of nine riders had a good mix and we got a gap of about four minutes,” he said. “There were no flat roads on the course, [it was] either up or down all day.”

The race played out over two closed circuits in Vitre. The first saw them cover six laps of a 21 kilometre loop, then the switched to a smaller 8.9 kilometre circuit which was covered eight times. The race finished on a slightly uphill section in the village.

Aleksandr Efimkin rode aggressively, trying to get across to a six-man break in the closing stages, but being foiled by a lack of cooperation.

“There was wind all day on the course, especially on the back when we got into crosswinds. On the finish there was a headwind and overall the course was much tougher on the road than it looked on paper,” he said. “It was a tough day, but we’re happy to be racing this week and grateful to the mechanics for the extra work they put in to get our Colnagos ready to race.”

The riders are scheduled to compete in the Flèche d’Emeraude tomorrow and then the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe, which begins on April 5th

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