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Manchester bike thieves are targeting top riders, says Paralympic tandem pilot

“We are being watched," says Lauryn Therin...

Bike thieves in Manchester are targeting Britain’s top cyclists, claims a ParalympicsGB hopeful who recently had two bikes stolen.

Lauryn Therin, who rides as a tandem pilot for Paralympian Rhiannon Henry, had bikes and other equipment worth over £4,000 stolen from a garage last month.

In February, thieves took two bikes worth £5,000 from the home of Olympic track cyclist Owain Doull after breaking through the roof of his garage.

Therin, who is aiming for a spot at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, says elite cyclists in Manchester are being “watched and targeted” by thieves.

She was away competing when thieves broke into the garage between April 18 and 22 and took a £2,500 black track bike worth £2,500, a red BMX worth £1,000 and £1,000-worth of wheels and tyres.

Therin told the Manchester Evening News: “We are being watched and targeted. They see us riding around the area in our Team GB kits and know we are on expensive bikes.

“These are good quality bespoke bikes, made to our exact dimensions and they are irreplaceable which makes it all the more frustrating.

“These bikes mean a lot, they have sentimental value and are part of our journey as an athlete as we compete on them.

“We train hard and represent our country and communities, we are just trying to do our job and people come and take away what we need to get the job done. It takes a certain type of mentality to steal and it is unacceptable.”

Detective constable Samuel Findlay said: “These bikes belong to a professional cyclist and we are keen to find them as soon as possible.

“We are urging anyone who was in the area and saw anyone acting suspiciously to get in touch with police. The bicycles are very distinctive, so if you have been offered either of them please call us.”

Anyone with information should call police on 061 856 5902 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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