Bettini's world title-winning bicycle stolen

Quick.Step loses 21 machines over the weekend

The bicycle Italy's Paolo Bettini rode to his second consecutive title at the world road race championships last week has been stolen, the Ansa news agency reported on Saturday.

Thieves stole all 21 bicycles belonging to the Quick Step team and the van in which they were being stored overnight ahead of Saturday's Memorial Cimurri race between Parma and Bologna.

The bicycles are estimated to be worth 150,000 euros (£103,000/US$210,000).

Bettini and the team used reserve bicycles for the 183km race.

The 33-year-old was crowned world champion in Stuttgart last Sunday despite organisers trying to bar him from the competition, because he would not sign the UCI's anti-doping agreement.

© AFP 2007

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