English firm bail out Irish cyclists after theft

A GROUP of Irish cyclists whose valuable bikes were snatched last week have been given a €50,000 dig out by a British company.

The national downhill mountain bike team faced the prospect of missing the European and World Championships when their bikes were stolen in France.

But Yorkshire-based Orange Bikes came to the team’s rescue following a plea for help from team manager Jim Smith.

The company has offered to pay half of the estimated €100,000 bill to get the cyclists back on the road.

The team has also received several donations from the public but still need thousands more.

“The English firm have been great, and it would be nice if someone at home could give us some aid now,” Mr Smith said.

The 11 bikes were taken from a hotel in Alpe d'Huez in the south of France before the Union of Cycling International’s (UCI) World Cup.

The ten riders had to borrow bikes from other cyclists at Alpe d’Huez to participate.

If the team fail to compete in the upcoming races they won’t be able to participate in next year’s UCI events.

The bikes are specially designed by each cyclist with team members paying up to €10,000 per bike, money earned working during the off season.

Anyone wanting to help the team can contact Jim Smith at: jimsmith@indigo.ie

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