Lance Armstrong's stolen time trial bike recovered

Sacramento police found it after three-day search

The Sacramento Police Department has confirmed that Lance Armstrong’s one-off Trek Equinox TTX Livestrong time trial bike has been recovered. Circumstances surrounding the recovery are muddled and it is not currently known the condition of the bike. The Bontrager and Hed wheels are reportedly missing.

From rumours heard over the Tour of California race radio, the thieves apparently had no idea what they actually had and were trying to obtain a surprisingly small amount of money for it on the street. We’ll have more information when it becomes available. Apparently, surveillance video footage helped police in recovering two of the four stolen bikes. Here's the official Sacramento police report:

"On Wednesday, February 18, 2009, at 10:35 a.m., a local resident brought Lance Armstrong’s stolen Trek bicycle to Sacramento Police headquarters at 5770 Freeport Boulevard. On Sunday, February 15, 2009, a report was made to the Sacramento Police Department regarding four bicycles that were stolen from the back of a Ryder truck which contained 26 bicycles.

The bicycles belonged to Armstrong’s team who were in Sacramento competing in the Amgen Tour of California. The truck was parked in downtown Sacramento in an alley between 15th and 16th Streets near L Street. The thieves cut an exterior lock which secured the bicycles inside the truck. One of the stolen bicycles belonged to Armstrong.

On Tuesday, February 17, 2009, personnel from the hotel near where the theft occurred called the Police Department advising one of the team’s blue bikes that had been reported stolen was in fact sitting in hotel storage. Hotel personnel stated it was a miscommunication between the rider and the hotel.

The following day, February 18, a local resident drove to the police station and turned in a bicycle he believed was stolen from Lance Armstrong. Detectives confirmed that the bike was in fact Armstrong’s stolen bicycle. The citizen wishes to remain anonymous. The facts surrounding how the person came into possession of the bicycle are not being released at this time due to an ongoing investigation.

The bicycle is currently in the care of the Police Department and arrangements will be made to return the bicycle to the owner."

Armstrong used the bike to finish tenth in the Tour of California's opening prologue. Johan Bruyneel, Astana's team manager, had reported that three road bikes also stolen belong to Janez Brajkovic, Steve Morabito and Yaroslav Popovych.

Astana has high hopes to win the overall once again. The crucial stage that can decide the race is the time trial in Solvang on February 20. The riders will tackle a 24-kilometre course.

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