Team Sky have confirmed a police investigation has been launched after Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France trophy was stolen.
The team had loaned that trophy along with Chris Froome’s Vuelta a Espana and Giro d’Italia trophies to bike manufacturer Pinarello.
They were on show at the Italian manufacturers’ stand at the Cycle Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham when they were taken during the clean-up event.
A Team Sky statement said: “Regrettably, during the clear-up operation at the end of the event, Geraint Thomas’s Tour de France trophy was momentarily left unattended and stolen. The matter is now subject to a police investigation.”
Managing Director of Pinarello UK Richard Hemington, who only took on the role a few weeks before the event, said: “We are obviously devastated about this. We accept full responsibility and have personally apologised to Geraint. Obviously, we hope the trophy can be recovered.”
The Coupe Omnisports trophy is a ceramic cup decorated in 24-carat gold powder and made by Manufacture de Sèvrres, who have been making porcelain since the 18th century on the banks of the river Seine, just outside of Paris.
It has been presented to the winner of the Tour de France on the Champs Elysees since the 1970’s and Thomas received it after his historic Tour triumph in July.
The Cardiff-born rider said when the theft was revealed on Tuesday: “It is incredibly unfortunate that this has happened. It goes without saying that the trophy is of pretty limited value to whoever took it but means a lot to me and to the team.
“Hopefully whoever took it 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.”