A Pinarello Paris bike belonging to Olympic gold medallist Philip Hindes has been stolen during a break-in at the home he shares in Manchester with BMX rider Liam Philips, whose car was also taken and later found burnt out and abandoned.
Greater Manchester Police are appealing for help in tracing the bike that the 20-year-old uses for training and which has his name on it, is painted in a red, white and blue colour scheme similar to the one pictured, and also has a Sky sticker.
Detective Constable Rob Southern, of West Didsbury CID commented: "The reason we have publicised this theft is so that we can catch the people responsible and return the bike to its rightful owner.
"I would therefore ask anyone who is offered a bike matching this description and the image we have released to call police immediately.
“It might be the thieves try and offload the bike onto a sports memorabilia collector so I would urge anyone who is offered the chance to buy such a bike to call police immediately as you could be vital to helping get this bike back.
"I would also ask anyone who has information about the burglary itself, or who might have been involved, to come forward.
"The stolen car was found burnt out on Princess Parkway so again if you saw anything then we need to hear from you."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Greater Manchester Police on police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
In a statement released through British Cycling, Hindes said: “I’m in Germany at the minute visiting my family, so I was really annoyed when I heard the news. I hope to get my bike back.”
Phillips added: “I’ve been on a post-Olympic holiday with my friends in the South of Spain and I found out on Monday that our house had been broken in to.
“It’s not nice for anyone to find out they’ve been burgled but it’s particularly upsetting that my car had been burnt out. It could have been a lot worse though, and hopefully the police will catch the people who did this.”
One line of enquiry police are reportedly investigating is that Hindes was targeted by the thieves after tweeting that he was going abroad. In recent years, a number of high profile athletes in the north west of England have been the victims of burglaries, including Bradley Wiggins earlier this year.
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.