This cautionary tale comes straight from some of the horses’ mouths- not horses that have fallen for the ruse, but even so, the names are being withheld to protect the innocent from any wrongful inference.“I just Loved your 87th place in the Ronde Van Zeeland Seaports.. I should come up and see you sometime..”
You may recall over the last couple of seasons the moderately regular reports of team bikes being stolen, en masse, in the dead of night from outside the team’s hotel during stage races of varying stature. These may or may not involve mid-ranking Italian squads racing in Il Bel Paese.
Apparently there is more to the modus operandi of the bicycle thieves (Vittorio De Sica reference entirely intentional) than at first it appears. And so, beware the neo-pro who finds himself subject to the attentions of attractive start village or finish-line groupies in outfits extremely appropriate for the summer temperatures. Especially when phone numbers are exchanged with views to a liaison later that night at the team hotel, which is then backed up by alluring textual interchange alluding to such an event. Pity him as he sits expectantly alone in his room (having convinced his roomy to ‘nip out for a while’) after excitedly divulging the address and room number of the temporary accommodation to the temptress. Alas, there is no light tapping on the door, the snapchat pics have all faded – and the team’s entire supply of bikes and wheels has been deftly cleared out of the trucks and into a transit van by our amorous young racer’s would-be girlfriend’s burly mates from the local ‘Family’…
I couldn’t help but let a wry smile creep across my face about a month after I was told of this caper when I read of just such a heist taking place. Yes, I pulled up the start list of the team in question for that race and scanned it to see who my money might be on.