The Équipe Paule Ka women’s pro cycling team has withdrawn from Tuesday’s Giro dell’Emilia race in Italy following the theft of team bicycles in Bologna.
The team announced the news on its website.
“It is with regret that we announce the withdrawal of Équipe Paule Ka from tomorrow’s Giro dell’Emilia,” the team said. “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 team was slated to have six riders at the start line in Bologna on Tuesday, including Elise Chabbey, Clara Koppenburg, Mikayla Harvey, Emma Norsgaard Jorgensen, Kathrin Stirnemann, and Maria Vittoria Sperotto. Last year, the squad had a third-place podium finish with Czech rider Nikola Nosková.
Team management is currently offering a reward of €5000 (~$6,000) for the return of the bicycles.