Many businesses in the bicycle world and beyond took advantage of the world’s most famous bicycle race coming to Yorkshire, Cambridge and London this year.
While raising the profile of cycling still further in the UK, did Le Tour also – unfortunately – provide criminals with plenty of opportunities to target bikes?
A £12,000 Pinarello Dogma F8 was stolen from the window display of the Paul Smith Leeds branch the day before the city hosted Stage One of Le Tour.
Another business hit by theft just days before Froome, Cavendish and Contador rode through Yorkshire was Pennine Cycles, which saw two special edition Le Tour Pennine bikes stolen from its shop, among others. The bikes were among four special edition TdF Grand Depart in Yorkshire yellow, green, polka dot and white – the yellow and a green were stolen.
In addition a Yellow Orbea Orca Bronze – bought with TdF in mind – with a special edition Fizik yellow saddle and featured in the shop’s TdF window display was nicked.
PICTURED: Paul Corcoran in a Yorkshire Post press shoot with the stolen yellow Pennine bike.
Losing the bikes impacted on further PR opportunites the shop had planned. Pennine Cycles’ Paul Corcoran told BikeBiz: "Our TdF special editions were scheduled to take part in a fashion shoot. The yellow bike was due to be ridden in a special stage 1 ride with Welcome to Yorkshire CEO Gary Verity which had local, national and international press and TV coverage. Then there was a photoshoot for the launch of our VC Bradford Club Clothing organised by UKTI with the yellow at a shoot in front of Harewood House, and further local press coverage with the bikes and then our own videos too.
"Alongside the loss in PR which we believe resulted in a loss of potential customers it couldn’t have happened at a worse time – 31st May – so near to the Tour de France."
PICTURED: The bike also featured at a Barclays Bank event in Bradford
"It obviously cost money to fix the burglary and to replace the Yellow TdF special edition quickly. Subsequently insurance premiums have increased, it affects cash flow and it’s not good for business with loss of stock and damage to premises."
Corcoran feels that with cycling ever further pushed into the public eye, cyclists and the trade need to be increasingly vigilant.
He told BikeBiz: "The Tour de France has hugely raised awareness of cycling and racing bikes. In the past young lads would only be interested in BMXs and mountain bikes, but now they stop to look at racing bikes. We have heard of a number of bike burglaries or attempts in the area, maybe because since the Olympics and Bradley Wiggins winning both this and the TdF last year, cycling has become much more fashionable and cool. And with all trends this encourages theft."
If anyone has any information regarding the theft, please contact 191, Police Bradford West Station, West Yorkshire.