Home » Tour of Britain: Lifeplus-Wahoo continue race despite overnight theft of bikes

Tour of Britain: Lifeplus-Wahoo continue race despite overnight theft of bikes

The Lifeplus-Wahoo cycling team were able to continue in the Tour of Britain on Friday after the generosity of their rivals following the theft of 14 bikes overnight.

The UK-based women’s team woke on Friday morning to discover all 14 of their Ribble Endurance SLR bikes, worth “about £55,000” in total according to team manager Tom Varney, had been stolen from their mechanic’s van.

Lifeplus-Wahoo had made a good start to the competition on Thursday but their further participation was in doubt after the theft in Shropshire.

However, after an appeal to rival team managers, Lifeplus’ riders were loaned enough bikes to start stage two of the race in Wrexham, which was won by world road race champion Lotte Kopecky.

The Belgian, 28, edged out Britain’s Anna Henderson in the final sprint to claim her second stage win in as many days.

Henderson emerged from the climb on Horseshoe Pass alongside Kopecky on to the final straight, but could not respond to the powerful finish by the world champion, whose SD Worx-Protime team-mate Lorena Wiebes came third.

Kopecky retains the leader’s green jersey and has a 17-second advantage over Henderson, who was riding for the Great Britain national team, in second.

American Heidi Franz had the highest finish for Lifeplus-Wahoo, placing 25th.

Of the other teams’ generosity, a spokesperson for Lifeplus said “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.”

The team were pictured at the start using a mix of their rivals’ equipment, including Factor, Look and Giant bikes from teams VolkerWessels, Liv AlUla Jayco and Cofidis.

“Thankfully our amazing community has rallied around and with help of several rivals teams were able to take the start this morning,” said co-team director Bob Varney.

Varney added an appeal to find the thieves, asking “please help us track them down by sharing the story far and wide.”

West Mercia Police said the bikes were stolen from a van parked at the Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel in Whitchurch and have urged any witnesses or people with CCTV or dashcam footage from between midnight and 07:00 BST to come forward.