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Durham student planning to cycle length of Americas pleads for return of bike after theft

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.

Simon has been news editor at 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.

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