A unique MCipollini RB 1000 bike worth €15,000, the frame finished in the Italian national colours, has been stolen from Giovanni Visconti, the country’s national road champion, from outside a hotel in Vicenza.
The Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli rider had been at the hotel to take part in a photoshoot, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Thieves broke into his car through the windscreen and took the bike, which had been stored in the boot. They also took a satnav device from the dashboard.
It’s the second high-profile theft of a bike targeting pro racers in Italy in the space of a few days, although as yet there is no suggestion the incidents are linked.
Last week, Professional Continental outfit Team Type 1-Sanofi Aventis were forced to pull out of the final stage of the Settimana Coppi e Bartali after all of their Colnago bikes and frames were stolen from team vehicles the previous evening.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.