Road World Championships: Russian bikes stolen on eve of men's road race
Last Updated: 28/09/13 2:07pm
Russia's bikes were stolen from a truck parked outside the team hotel
The Russian men's cycling team's preparations for the world championship road race on Sunday have been severely disrupted after all their bikes were stolen.
Thieves targeted the team's mechanics truck, which was parked at the team hotel in Prato, and made off with 16 bikes plus equipment.
Team leader Alexandr Kolobnev tweeted on Saturday morning: "Police at work... Stolen ALL the bikes last night. No start tomorrow."
It is understood replacement bikes are now being assembled and the three members of the Russian men's team - Kolobnev, Yury Trofimov and Sergei Chernetski - will now be able to race after all.
However, they were unable to go on a final training ride on Saturday ahead of the race, which starts on Sunday morning and covers 272.3km.
A similar incident happened in February when the Garmin-Sharp team had all their bikes stolen during the Tour Mediterranéen in France in February.