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Lance Armstrong has bikes worth more than $100,000 stolen in storage unit burglary

Two men have been charged by police in Austin, Texas following break-in earlier this month

Two men have been charged with burglary in Austin, Texas after allegedly stealing bikes valued at more than $100,000 from disgraced former professional cyclist, Lance Armstrong.

The Austin-American Statesman reports that according to arrest affidavits issued by police, the pair broke into a storage unit operated by Extra Space Storage and used by the ex-US Postal rider next to the Capital of Texas Highway in Austin on the morning of Sunday 10 December, and stole six bikes, collectively valued at $105,800, during the day.

The individual value of the bikes taken, which police ascertained with the help of Armstrong’s executive assistant Dave Bolch, as well as Jeffrey Rosenberg, who runs sports memorabilia business Tristar Productions, ranged from $500 for a frame to $50,000 for a bike that had been used in races and triathlons.

The latter is far from the most valuable bike Armstrong ever rode, however. That distinction goes to a unique butterfly-adorned Trek Madone he rode on the final stage of the 2009 Tour de France, the work of British artist Damien Hirst, which subsequently raised $500,000 at auction for the LiveStrong Foundation.

> The most expensive bike in the world! Take a look back at Lance Armstrong’s ‘Butterfly Bike’

The two accused, 33-year-old Ethan Harms and Shaun Thompson, aged 36, were reported to have been linked by police to other burglaries, including one at a separate storage unit, and could each face up to 10 years in prison, as well as fines of $10,000, says the newspaper.

Now aged 52, Armstrong won seven successive Tour de France titles between 1999 and 2005 after recovering from cancer, riding for US Postal Service, renamed Discovery Channel following a change of sponsor ahead of the 2004 edition.

The LiveStrong Foundation he set up to raise awareness of cancer meant that Armstrong’s fame transcended sport and made him a household name worldwide, with the charity’s signature yellow wristbands near-ubiquitous, but even from the first of those Tour de France victories he faced accusations of doping, which he vehemently denied.

He retired following his seventh Tour de France win in 2005, but returned to the race four years later with Astana, finishing third behind team mate-cum-rival Alberto Contador and runner-up Andy Schleck.

The following year, riding for RadioShack, proved to be his final participation in the race and by now he was the subject of a federal investigation into allegations of doping.

Armstrong continued to insist that he had ridden clean throughout his career and had not cheated his way to those seven yellow jerseys, but in 2012 the United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA) banned him from competitive sport for life and stripped him of results including his Tour de France victories after establishing that he was at the centre of a doping ring at US Postal.

His ban resulted in him losing multi-million dollar sponsorships from companies including Nike and Oakley, and in January 2013, Armstrong finally made a confession, albeit limited, of his doping in a two-part television interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Since 2017, he has hosted The Move podcast, which includes coverage of the Tour de France, although race owners ASO have made it clear in no uncertain terms that he is persona non grata whenever the prospect of him visiting the event in person is raised.

> Lance Armstrong snaps back at poll asking cycling fans if he should have wins reinstated

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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22 comments

Avatar
Bungle_52 | 3 months ago
5 likes

It's not about the bike.

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brooksby replied to Bungle_52 | 3 months ago
1 like

Bungle_52 wrote:

It's not about the bike.

Boo-boom Tish!

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Barraob1 | 3 months ago
1 like

Man who robbed people of a career ends up being robbed. Lovely, this has made me smile. He's a smug pr1ck

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miekwidnes | 4 months ago
3 likes

Wouldn't it be ironic if the thieves were found to be drug dealers??

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ubercurmudgeon | 4 months ago
5 likes

It would be great if all the scum-sucking arseholes in the world stole, bullied, and ripped-off each other exclusively, and left the rest of us alone. Sadly, it doesn't work that way, so it is good that the thieves have, apparently, been caught. If there was any justice, Armstrong would be sharing a cell with them, but it doesn't work that way either.

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Marin92 replied to ubercurmudgeon | 4 months ago
0 likes

It would be great if the UCI officials who turned a blind eye to Armstrong for years ended up in prison. It would also be great if other proven or admitted drugged cyclists were treated the same, Ulrich, Pantani, Riise... the list goes on, were also stripped of their results. Scape goating one rider for a drug addled sport was very convenient solution.

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Barraob1 replied to Marin92 | 3 months ago
2 likes

Armstrong wasn't scapegoated. Pantani was banned, Ulrich had results retrospectively removed and was blacklisted. Did you see him at the tour start in Germany? Armstrong was the worst of the worst, Mcquaid should have been locked up for protecting him

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Laz | 4 months ago
5 likes

I quite understand the scorn cast Lance's way- I used to be a fan, one of the duped till the confession. Never-the-less, I've quite a dim view of a bike thief- a bike is very personal, like an old photo-booth photo of you and your girlfriend- something tangeble of a special moment or time. I doubt the thieves handled the bikes well either. All my life Ive taken fine care of my steeds. I was a bike courier for 5 years, and every morning without fail I'd set out on a washed and polished ride- I knew every nick and scratch- I guess that makes me one of those freaks, but my point is a bike can really mean something to someone: it's a connection to that time in one's life when life was it's own meaning and purpose- and the man stealing that is taking far more than a bike; he's taken part of one's soul.

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Rendel Harris replied to Laz | 4 months ago
5 likes

You make an assumption that Mr Armstrong has a soul, I believe he actually sold that to Satan quite a while ago. Of course one understands your point about the treasured nature of bicycles and how awful it is to have one stolen, but then millions of fans had treasured memories of the Tour de France (like you, I was one of the duped, not quite up to the confession but certainly during his first few victories) which he stole away from us, so I'm afraid I can't shed any tears for him.

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Simon E replied to Rendel Harris | 4 months ago
6 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

You make an assumption that Mr Armstrong has a soul, I believe he actually sold that to Satan quite a while ago.

I'm told it was freely donated, no strings attached, just like the money he gave to the UCI, supposedly to buy the testing machines...

Except that it wasn't actually his to donate in the first place.

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Marin92 replied to Rendel Harris | 4 months ago
0 likes

Grow up Rendel, were you not entertained for years?

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Rendel Harris replied to Marin92 | 4 months ago
3 likes

Marin92 wrote:

Grow up Rendel, were you not entertained for years?

So it's OK to dope as long as you ride entertainingly on the dope? I don't think it's me who needs to grow up here chap.

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Barraob1 replied to Marin92 | 3 months ago
2 likes

The US postal train wasn't entertainment. Bassons didn't look entertained when Armstrong forced him off the tour

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Barraob1 replied to Laz | 3 months ago
2 likes

Feck him, hiding behind his cancer when questioned. He's a piece of sh1t

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BrianP replied to Laz | 3 months ago
1 like

Nope, you aren't a freak. Just passionate. I'd feel the same if someone stole my bike.

Bike thieves are scum. But so is Armstrong. It's kind of karmic that he got robbed. And the fact that the thieves have been caught is a bonus.

 

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mikecassie | 4 months ago
4 likes

I'm just really disappointed the thieves have been apprehended, if there's anyone who deserves to have their property stolen, it's that cunt.  The theives should maybe just deny doing it for ooooooooh say 10-15 years then admit some things to Oprah and shed some crocodile tears.  

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squidgy | 4 months ago
5 likes

$50,000 for one bike. What drugs is he on?

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Vo2Maxi replied to squidgy | 4 months ago
8 likes

There's $40,000's worth of EPO hidden in the downtube 😉

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chrisonabike replied to Vo2Maxi | 4 months ago
3 likes
Vo2Maxi wrote:

There's $40,000's worth of EPO hidden in the downtube 😉

Oh, I doubt there is any left... allegedly.

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Rendel Harris | 4 months ago
11 likes

Presumably should the police apprehend the miscreants then Big Tex will refuse to press charges on the grounds that actually everybody's stealing and they just happened to steal better than anybody else?

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VIPcyclist | 4 months ago
6 likes

Is anybody shedding a tear?

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Lozcan | 4 months ago
5 likes

Suck it up Buttercup

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