Belkin's Bauke Mollema thwarts would-be bike thief at Tirreno TT

Dutch pro alerts police to person trying to make off with Movistar bike - not that Spanish team seemed to notice

by Simon_MacMichael   March 20, 2014  

Bauke Mollema, Tirreno 2014 (copyright Gian Mattia D'Alberto, LaPresse)

Belkin rider Bauke Mollema, sixth overall in last year’s Tour de France, thwarted a would-be bike thief at Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday, the Dutch WorldTour team says on its Facebook page.

Mollema was taking part in the Stage 7 time trial that brought the 49th edition of the UCI WorldTour race to a close in San Benedetto del Tronto on Italy’s Adriatic coast.

According to Belkin,

Bauke Mollema caught a bike thief in act on Tuesday right before the start of his time trial. The Dutchman quickly alarmed [we assume they mean ‘alerted’ – ed] a patrolling officer when he saw a person taking off on a Movistar bike. After his time trial Mollema immediately went to the Movistar team bus to check if the bike was found but there nobody was aware of the incident.

A number of teams including Sky, Lampre-Merida and Cannondale have suffered high-profile thefts of bikes and equipment running into six figures in recent months, the work of what are clearly highly organised criminals.

From the brief description given, it is possible that this may have been more of an opportunistic thief, however.

The Dutch rider finished 131st on the stage, 1 minute and 18 seconds behind the day’s winner, Adriano Malori… of Movistar.

There’s no news on who the bike may have belonged to, and with the start and finish of the time trial in the same area, it’s difficult to even hazard a guess.

Only one Movistar rider went out on the course after Mollema, and that was Nairo Quintana, who finished the race runner-up to Alberto Contador on GC.

But with a start time 32 minutes after the Belkin man, we imagine the Colombian was probably warming up at the time and his bike - the team switched form Pinarello to Canyon this year - wouldn't have been in the start/finish zone.

Two Movistar riders did however take to the course in succession with start times that would have got them to the finish just minutes before Mollema started – Benat Intxausti and Igor Anton.

And we do know that Movistar’s British national time trial champion, Alex Dowsett, who for a while had the fastest time, may have had something other than his bike on his mind - as this exchange of tweets with pro-turned-pundit Daniel Lloyd shows:

 

4 user comments

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OR....it could have been someone on a replica bike....I guess we'll never know if Movistar don't even know

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8686 posts]
20th March 2014 - 3:05

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Could have made for a good chase...

dafyddp's picture

posted by dafyddp [142 posts]
20th March 2014 - 10:10

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I can imagine the chase now, with the benny hill music...

posted by md6 [154 posts]
20th March 2014 - 12:02

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Quote:
IAccording to Belkin,

Bauke Mollema caught a bike thief in act on Tuesday right before the start of his time trial. The Dutchman quickly alarmed [we assume they mean ‘alerted’ – ed] a patrolling officer when he saw a person taking off on a Movistar bike.

Must be a linguistic faux pas. I can't imagine Bauke Mollema alarming anyone.

Laurens ten Dam on the other hand...

alarming.jpg
Him Up North's picture

posted by Him Up North [134 posts]
20th March 2014 - 20:19

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