A custom Ridley Helium SL bike with a polka dot paintjob that was ridden by Lotto-Soudal’s Thomas De Gendt when he led the mountains classification at the Tour de France last month has been stolen from the bike manufacturer’s stand at the Eurobike trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
The theft took place yesterday, with Ridley founder and CEO Jochim Aerts, quoted on Cycling.be, saying: “We were so proud we could show Thomas’s bike on our stand, then this happened.”
De Gendt, in Spain riding the Vuelta, said: "It's really unfortunate that this has happened. The bike means a lot to me, it was a kind of symbol of my outstanding Tour de France. I really hope it shows up.”
Ridley tweeted a picture of the bike as it was on the stand prior to the theft, with the thieves breaking the lock to make off with it.
— Ridley Bikes (@Ridley_Bikes) August 31, 2016
The rider himself retweeted Ridley’s picture asking for information and pointing out that the bike is “easy to spot.” Well, quite.
De Gendt had two stints in the polka dot jersey at the Tour de France - from Stages 5 to 7, then for a further three days after winning the shortened Stage 12 on Mont Ventoux on Bastille Day.
That stage is best remembered for Chris Froome’s jog up the mountain after his bike was broken in a crash when motorbikes ahead of the group he was in were unable to get through the crush of spectators.
Thefts of bikes do unfortunately happen at trade shows from time to time, including Eurobike – in 2009, we reported how a €10,000 Van Nicholas Astraeus had been stolen before the doors had even opened to the event.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.