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Cyclo-cross rider Tom Hooper tells of shock and upset as bike thieves raid locker at train station
A top cyclist’s bid to join the elite in his sport has been dealt a blow by bike thieves.
Mountain biker and cyclo-cross champion Tom Hooper, of Bingley, had his prized Giant Team Series racing bike, worth £2,000, stolen from a locker at Bingley railway station.
Mr Hooper, 25, is now considering offering a reward to get the bike back before the new cyclo-cross season starts next month.
“I have got a spare bike, but it is not as good as the one that has been stolen, which was tailored for me. It is a big blow,” Mr Hooper said yesterday.
The cyclist left his bike in a padlocked locker on Platform Two at the station, at 6am on Friday, August 9, to go to work. When he returned at 3pm, the lock had been picked and the bike was gone.
He said: “I did a double take when I opened the door and there was nothing inside. I was shocked and upset.”
Mr Hooper rode the bike to be the Yorkshire Junior Cyclo-Cross Champion when he was 18.
He then took a break from the sport, but began competing again in March, and this summer he has won two rounds of the national cross-country mountain biking series, on a different bike.
He said: “I hadn’t won a race for eight years, so it was an awesome feeling. I have been training after work and at weekends, and it has been really hard.
“The new cyclo-cross season begins in September. There are 20 races over three months and I will be racing every weekend.
“But the theft of the bike is a big blow to my competing. I am trying to do the best I can in the sport, and the tool of my trade has been stolen.
“I would like to be one of the best cyclo-cross riders in Britain, but it is vital I get my bike back.”
He said the bike was also of sentimental value because his parents and grandparents had helped to pay for it.
A British Transport Police spokesman said: “It is really important we return it to him as it would be difficult to replace.”
Officers are studying CCTV and urging witnesses to come forward.
Anyone with information should ring BTP on 0800 405040, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.