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Team Type 1 back in saddle after bike theft

Team Type 1 – sanofi-aventis is back in the saddle for Friday’s Route Adelie de Vitre in France just a week after thieves stole more than 30 bikes, wheels and other invaluable equipment.

The staff and riders from the pro-continental team worked hard over the past week to overcome a devastating theft from their locked team vehicles of all race and time trial bicycles, equipment, spare parts and tools.

“The bike theft was a serious obstacle to work through. We have strong partnerships to get frames, wheels and gruppos, but the hardest loss is the measured fit of those bikes over time,” said sport director Massimo Podenzana. “We went to the A2 wind tunnel in December to dial in the time trial bikes, and then riders were making small adjustments as they rode them. The larger data we recorded, but those tiny increments were literally stored on the handlebars and saddles of the bikes.”

Last week, Team Type 1 was forced to pull out of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali in Italy after thieves ransacked the team’s vehicles overnight and stole more than a half-million euros worth of bikes, equipment and gear.

Without their Colnago bikes and other equipment, the team had no choice but to abandon ahead of the start of the race’s fifth and final stage.

According to a team report, mechanics woke up Saturday morning to discover the front window of a team car smashed and the vehicle pushed back from the back door of the locked panel van used to store equipment.

The locks on the side and back doors of the panel van were forced open and all bicycles, tools, wheels, spare parts and equipment was stolen. The large luggage door underneath the team bus was pried off and removed from the vehicle and all bikes mounted in the storage bin under the bus were stolen, the team reported.

Team officials estimated the value of the bicycles, tools, spare parts and equipment to be more than 500,000 euros (about $700,000 at current exchange rates).

Despite the setback, the squad’s European unit continues with its planned schedule and returns to action with eight riders lining up for the 197km Route Adelie de Vitre in Bretagne.

“Vitre is a tough two-circuit race in rolling hill country,” Podenzana said. “The first six laps are on a 21km loop northwest from Vitre, then we do eight laps of a 9km course to the east of town that is hillier than the first. With winds and a strong peloton, this race will be a good hard test on the road.”

Team Type 1 – sanofi-aventis rider Valeriy Kobzarenko marks his return to racing at Route Adelie de Vitre, following nearly six weeks away from competition after breaking bones in his hand at the Etolie de Besseges in early February.

“I feel fit and ready to race, but being away from competition is always a challenge. I couldn’t hold the handlebars to be able to ride outside for the first weeks. Then as things improved I was able to train normally at home in Crimea, where it was dry and warm,” Kobzarenko said.

Team Type 1 – sanofi-aventis for Route Adelie de Vitre:

Bodrogi, Lazslo – FRA
Calabria, Fabio* – AUS
Efimkin, Aleksandr – RUS
Grendene, Andrea – ITA
Ilesic, Aldo Ino – SLO
Kobzarenko, Valeriy – UKR
Kocjan, Jure – SLO
Megias, Javier* – ESP

* – rider with type 1 diabetes

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