Specialized Allez stolen from car park opposite city's police station...

A Durham Ph.D student who earlier this year helped break a world record for rowing across the Atlantic has appealed for the return of the bike she intended to ride on her next adventure – cycling the length of the Americas from Alaska to Argentina.

The bike, a black Specialized Allez, was stolen last week from a Durham University underground car park in Elvet Riverside opposite the city’s main police station, reports the Northern Echo.

The owner, Naomi Hoogesteger, aged 29 and originally from Somerset, told the newspaper: ““It is more than just something to train on.

“I have had it a long time and there is a lot of history for me and that bike.”

The thief reportedly used a hacksaw to cut through the bike lock, and police believe that the same person may have been responsible for a number of similar thefts in the city.

Police are in possession of video footage of the suspect, and according to the newspaper think that he buys blades for the hacksaw at Durham Indoor Market.

Miss Hoogesteger continued: “I just think how dare he? Does he know how important that bike is to me?

“He will regret it if I ever get to meet him.”

In February, the student was part of a team that completed a voyage rowing 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands to Port St Charles in Barbados to raise money for the charity, Combat Stress.

In her planned trip through the Americas, she plans to raise money for community projects in South America.

“It may not happen for five or ten years, but I would like to set myself a major challenge for each decade of my life,” she added.

Anyone with information regarding the theft of the bike is requested to phone police on 0345 6060365.

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.