Gadgets and money are usually the targets of the robbers, but they have become more unpredictable as time went by. You might think that this world is cruel enough, but wait till you hear what happened to professional racing cyclist Geraint Thomas’ trophy.
Who Is Geraint Thomas?
For those who don’t know, Thomas is a renowned Welsh cyclist whose career spans 12 years, making him one of the most experienced and celebrated athletes in the field. He is this year’s Tour de France champion and under his belt are a couple of Olympic gold medals. These accomplishments were not out of the unexpected — the 32-year-old had been in love with cycling since he was young.
At 10, he joined the Maindy Flyers Club and began riding alongside Luke Rowe, who would later become his teammate in Team Sky. In years that followed, he began gaining attention for his successes, including national championships, at such a young age. His professional cycling career, meanwhile, was ignited by the 2004 UEC European Track Championships, where he snatched a silver medal in the point race.
After some cycling stints with numerous clubs, Thomas finally joined the Tour de France in 2007, becoming the youngest rider and was the first Welsh to race in the competition since 1967. He finished second to the last in that competition, although that didn’t stop him from doing everything to reach the top — fast forward to now, he had won the coveted award.
Lost Tour de France 2018 Trophy
However, the trophy, which is not just the symbol for the ultimate success but also all the hardships he had gone through, had been stolen while it was on loan to Pinarello, a cycling company that held The Cycle Show, which showcased the latest cycling equipment by several bike manufacturers, at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. The award, called as the “Coupe Omnisports,” mysteriously disappeared from its plinth in late September.
Yup, the trophy was gone since September but was only publicized recently. The loss had prompted the police, Team Sky, as well as Pinarello to scramble for clues as they pondered on the motives of the thief. It turned out that Thomas’ prized possession was left unattended and was only noticed to be missing during the clean-up.
Police said the case was reported on Oct. 2, when they were informed that the trophy was stolen from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sept 29. Because of this, Richard Hemington, the managing director of the Italian bike company, expressed his apologies to Thomas and took responsibility for the problem. Apart from the Tour de France trophy, those loaned were the Giro d’Italia of Chris Foome and Vuelta a Espana of Simon Yates, both teammates of Thomas.
Appeal to The Thief
Thomas, meanwhile, appealed for the thief to just return his trophy, stating it has little value for those who took it but for him, it meant a lot. He also added that more than the award, what’s more important are the memories in achieving victory.
Meanwhile, supporters of Thomas were appalled with what happened to their idol’s trophy. Taking it to microblogging platform Twitter, there are those who threw shade at the cyclist’s teammate, Foome, who was overthrown in France by the Welsh leader.
They uploaded a grainy photo of Foome and captioned it as the image released by police of the wanted thief. He didn’t directly reply to the issue and instead expressed his sadness over what happened to his colleague.
Replica of The Award
The good news is that an exact replica of the trophy was furnished to Thomas on Dec. 16 presented on BBC’s Sunday Brunch program. Team Sky, meanwhile, expressed gratitude to the organizer of the Tour de France, Amaury Sports Organization, for taking over the creation of the award that looked like the original.
Thomas also shared his happiness on social media by posting his photo with his new prize. Coincidentally, it was a double celebration for the cyclist – he did not only “win back” his trophy, but it was also announced that he earned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.