£70,000 theft from Mountain Bike World Cup was 'planned in advance'

A Californian team were left 'heartbroken' to discover all of their bikes had been stolen overnight.

£70,000 theft from UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William was ‘planned in advance’ Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

The theft of £70,000 worth of bikes and equipment from the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is thought to have been “planned in advance”.

Athletes from around the world travelled to the Nevis Range in Scotland to take part in the international event over the weekend.

Between 7.30pm on Friday, May 20, and 7.45am on Saturday, May 21, thieves entered team area in Fort William and stole thousands of pounds worth of gear.

UCI, the world governing body for sports cycling, said the local organising team had “everything in place” with professional security patrolling throughout the night.

Valentina Holl performs at UCI DH World Cup in Fort William, United Kingdom on May 21, 2022Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Even with people sleeping in vans and campers nearby, nothing was heard and the thieves were able to escape.

Californian non-profit team Union were left “heartbroken” to discover all of their bikes had been stolen.

The incident marked what was otherwise a very successful event for the Fort William venue which was announced as one of the hosts for next year’s UCI Cycling World Championships taking place in Scotland.

A UCI spokesperson said: “During the night of Friday, May 20, to Saturday, May 21, bikes were stolen from the Union team van in the team area of the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William (Great Britain).

“The Local Organising Committee had everything in place with an enclosed team area, professional security, and patrolling throughout the night.

“People sleeping in vans and campers nearby heard nothing. The police were informed and are investigating the theft, which they say appears to have been planned in advance.”

Police Scotland has appealed for witnesses and information as they probe the theft.

Detective sergeant Louise Thewlis said: “We are appealing for anyone who was in the area of the Nevis Range and Torlundy at the time who may have witnessed anything or has any information about the whereabouts of the bikes and equipment to get in touch.

“You can call Police Scotland on 101 quoting reference 0798 of May 21, 2022, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”