West Midlands police are investigating the theft of the Coupe Omnisports – the trophy presented to the winner of the Tour De France – after it was stolen from The Cycle Show at the NEC.
Italian bike manufacturer Pinarello had the trophy on display from 28-30 September, after it was won by Geraint Thomas in July of this year. He was only the third Briton to ever win the Tour de France, following Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.
The trophy was stolen in the aftermath of the show, between 6:30 and 7:30pm, when the event was being broken down. It was ‘momentarily left unattended’.
Thomas said: “It is incredibly unfortunate that this has happened. It goes without saying that the trophy is of pretty limited value to whoever took it and hopefully [they] will have the good grace to return it.
“A trophy is important, but clearly what matters most are the amazing memories from this incredible summer – and no-one can ever take those away.”
Julie Harris, CEO of Upper Street Events, organiser of The Cycle Show, said: “As cycling fans we’re devastated to hear of the theft of Geraint’s Tour de France trophy. The trophy is of limited value to anyone else other than its deserved owner, and we hope that whoever took it does the right thing and returns it. Needless to say, we will do whatever we can to co-operate with the enquiries of the Police and NEC security.”
The other Grand Tour trophies – the Vuelta de Espana and Giro d’Italia – were also being displayed at the event. The latter was won by Thomas’ teammate Chris Froome.
An NEC spokesperson commented: “We are aware of the incident taking place during the break down of the Cycle Show at the NEC last month. We are working closely with Team Sky, West Midlands Police and our security partners OCS to aid their investigation. All parties wish for safe return of the trophy.”
Richard Hemington, managing director of Pinarello, said the company had apologised to Thomas.
He added: “We are obviously devastated about this. We accept full responsibility. Obviously we all hope that the trophy can be recovered.”
Team Sky said it was liaising with all relevant parties to agree on the best course of action to resolve the issue.