Click here for the updated story. We now have a picture of the missing bike.
With permission from the organizer : A Specialized Venge, black color, with blue Specialized decals and equipped with Di2, valued at 250k (as per the owner), was stolen at the transition area of the Philippine Duathlon Series Leg 1.
As per the organizer, we agreed that it is best to spread the news about the theft as soon as possible. So everyone can be on the lookout and also, so that the thief will have a hard time selling it, if ever.
How it happened :
In our initial investigation, the participant (athlete number 73), was still able to use his bike and finish the race. He discovered that his bike was missing when he went back to the transition area to get it.
During the ordeal, he noticed that the race number stickers on his helmet was ripped off. So we assume, that’s how the thief was able to get out of the transition area with his bike. As far as transition security is concerned, from experience (we went to the transition area a couple of times as part of our race coverage) we noticed that the marshals were indeed checking the athletes as they’re going out with their bike. In short, it was nothing out of the ordinary. The usual S.O.P. procedure was being followed. The thief really planned this one.
In light of this, we’re asking the SBR.ph nation, to be on the lookout for the bike. We’re also asking the participants and their companions who were taking pictures to take a look at their images to see if they captured the thief with the bike with #73 bike sticker. Also, to athlete #73, if you’re reading this, feel free to send us a clearer image of your bike (plus the specs) so we can post it on SBR.ph.
We’re still trying to get the splits of athlete #73. Since the bike was stolen as he was on his second run, the time frame of the robbery is roughly 15-30 minutes after he racked his bike during t2. Or longer if the athlete stayed at the finished line to line up for the food and finishers shirt.
The organizers told us that the athlete has a picture of him riding the bike during the race. We’ll try to get a hi-res copy so we can post it here on the site. We’ll also scour our event coverage for possible pictures.
For now, based on the description, here is what the bike “probably” looks like.
Note : The image above is NOT the actual picture of the missing bike. It is what popped up on search when we looked for “Specialized Venge with Blue Decals”
Also, as per the organizer, the owner told them that the bike was also equipped with Di2.
It was also mentioned that the bike was a Specialized Venge S-Works. We’re not sure about that as S-Works Venge should have an S-Works decal instead of the Specialized logo. We’ll post more details as we get more solid info.
This is really sad. This means that the thief is probably also one of the participants. This is not good for the growth of the sport and definitely not good for the community.
Again, we appeal to everyone to be on the lookout for the stolen bike and also to look at your camera images. There’s no place for someone like this in our sport.
This is not the first time an athlete hi-jacked an equipment of a fellow participant. We all know the story of the Garmin thief in Cebu. Let this serve as a reminder to other race organizers (us included), to exert more security and manpower at the transition area. Especially at the entrance and exit points. There should be stricter rules and only participants, or those with I.D., should be able to get in and out of transition.
When we left, the organizers were already in talks with the victim. We’re confident than an amicable settlement will be done. We will leave that up to them. Our concern is how we can catch this thief and get the bike back ASAP.