Thomas's Tour de France trophy stolen in Birmingham

Geraint Thomas  following the 21st and final stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race. Pic Stephane Mantey  EPA-EFE  REX  Shutterstock

Image Geraint Thomas with his trophy after winning the Tour de France. Pic REX Shutterstock

Thomas took his maiden Tour title this July, beating Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) and teammate Chris Froome to an unexpected win.

"It is incredibly unfortunate that this has happened".

"Hopefully whoever took it will have the good grace to return it".

"A trophy is important, but clearly what matters most are the awesome memories from this incredible summer - and no-one can ever take those away".

Team Sky had loaned the trophies to bicycle manufacturers Pinarello so that fans across the United Kingdom could have the chance to see it. Team Sky officials said that while organizers were clearing up after the Cycle Show on September 29, Thomas' trophy "was momentarily left unattended and stolen".

Both riders were tipped to have a chance of victory ahead of the Tour but it was 32-year-old Thomas who proved the strongest in the team and the race, finishing nearly two minutes ahead of second-placed Tom Dumoulin.

Managing Director of Pinarello UK Richard Hemington, who was appointed to the role just a few weeks before the show added: "We are obviously devastated about this". We accept full responsibility.

Armstrong might still be in possession of his trophies and jerseys but the US cyclist was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and given a lifetime ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) when he decided not to contest USADA drugs charges back in 2012.

The bowl was displayed alongside the other Grand Tour trophies - Vuelta de Espana and Giro d'Italia - won by Thomas's team-mate Chris Froome.

This, of course, is not the first time a major trophy has been stolen in the United Kingdom as in 1966 the famous Jules Rimet World Cup trophy was stolen prior to the football championship leading to the conviction of Steve Crook.

The trophies had been loaned to the team's bike supplier Pinarello for the Cycle Show, which was held in Birmingham over the last weekend in September. "Quote crime reference number 20SH/225824R/18".

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