A speedy thief put the brakes on a Lancashire professional cyclist’s training regime - by pedalling off with his £7,000 road bike as he stopped for a brew.
Ian Bibby was on a training ride in Lancaster when he pulled up at a cafe to say hello to a friend.
Propping his Madison Genesis cycle below the window of the Music Room Cafe in Sun Street, he came back out a short time later to discover the unsecured bike gone.
Ian, of Fulwood, Preston, rides in events across the globe and was worried about losing his prized bike ahead of an international race in Taiwan in a fortnight.
Only eight of the bikes were made worldwide, making it difficult to replace at short notice.
However, following an appeal by police and online on cycling forums, the black, orange and blue bike was tracked down by officers four days later.
Ian, 26, a former British cyclo-cross champion, said: “It was bit of hassle really.
“There are only eight like it in the world. All the bits on it are not even in the shops yet. A bike is like a personal thing and it’s hard work to get another set up the same. I’m very happy the police found it.”
Ian, who has also competed in the Tour of Britain race, reckons it would have been very difficult for a thief to sell the bike as it is so recognisable.
He said: “It’s quite unique.
“As soon as they had tried to sell it, it would have been be known.”
A Lancashire police spokesman said a 34-year-old man from Warton, near Carnforth, had been charged with theft and bailed to appear before Lancaster magistrates next month.
She added officers had also given Ian advice on keeping the bike safe.