Police say Wilier bikes were 'stolen to order'...

A semi-pro cyclist missed Stages 3 and 4 of the Tour Series last week following the theft of bikes and gear worth more than £14,000.

Will Bjergfelt’s garage in Portishead, North Somerset, was forced open and most of his equipment stolen, including a Wilier Cento Uno road race bike valued at £7,500.

The bike is black, white and red in colour with the name Wilier on the downtube. It is one of just 10 such models in the UK.

Also taken was a Wilier Izoard road racing bike worth £3,500 and a Kona Heihei titanium mountain bike frame belonging to a friend worth £1,000. Two Fulcrum Racing Zero wheels worth £1,800 were also snatched.

Avon and Somerset Police believe the theft happened between 10pm on May 31 and 8.40am on June 1. The incident forced Will, a member of the Sports Beans/Wilier team, to pull out of the Woking and Peterborough stages of the Tour Series last week. He cycled again last weekend in the Premier Calendar Ryedale Grand Prix, but on a borrowed bike.

Will said: "To say I am gutted is an understatement. My insurance only partially covers the bikes, so I am going to be left well out of pocket. I have a garage door defender fitted to the garage as extra security, but they just bent the garage in half and managed to snap the safety equipment off.

"The Wilier Cento Uno bike is a particularly rare model and there are only 10 like mine in the whole of the UK, eight of which belong to the team's riders.”

Will has been cycling semi-professionally for 15 years. He won the Totnes Two Day Stage Race last year as well as securing first place in the prestigious Perfs Pedal Road Race in Bournemouth.

He has also competed in the 2007 and 2008 Mountain Bike World Championships in Italy and Belgium.

Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to £500 for information received that leads to a successful conviction and police are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the Rippleside area of Portishead between May 31 and June 1.

An Avon and Somerset spokesman said: "It is possible there may have been more than one suspect and it is likely they may have used a vehicle to remove the bikes and equipment.

"It is possible that the bikes and equipment may have been stolen to order."

Racing cyclists and cycle shop dealers are being asked to look out for the bikes and equipment and are urged to contact police.

Anyone with information contact Weston-super-Mare CID on 0845 456 7000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Just a few weeks ago the Bristol offices of Paligap, UK distributors of Kona, Merlin, and Litespeed were broken in to and thieves made off with valuable top end road and mountain bikes.