The Euskaltel and Baloise-Trek cycling teams were both unable to compete in the final stage of Tour of Slovenia and Belgium Tour on Sunday after their bicycles were stolen.
“Team Euskaltel Euskadi’s van and team bikes were stolen today from the hotel in Ljubljana,” Tour of Slovenia organisers said on Facebook. “In total 14 Orbea Orca Aero bikes are missing.”
Police were called, but despite an appeal for information the bikes were not recovered.
The Spanish team was therefore forced to withdraw. Their best rider Unai Iribar was in 17th position over two minutes behind race leader Filippo Zana before the start of the fifth and final stage.
In Brussels, the Baloise-Trek team also suffered the same fate, nearly 1,000km from the Slovenian capital.
“Last night we fell victim to a theft of bicycles and wheels,” the team said in a statement on Instagram. “Unfortunately, it is therefore not possible for us to start today in the last stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour. We await the police investigation.”