A Kenninghall racing cyclist about to embark on his first semi-professional season is fearful his dreams may have been “ruined” after his £8,000 bike was stolen on Sunday.
Tom Fitzpatrick was shocked to find his prized possession - a Specialized S-Works Venge racing cycle - had been stolen from his parent’s garage, in West Church Street, Kenninghall on Sunday.
Mr Fitzpatrick will begin his first ever semi-professional season this year, racing for the Terra Safety Shoes team, and will be based in Zottegen, Belgium, from March to October. But the young hopeful now fears his chances could be scuppered. He will now use a team bike, but will need to provide his own components.
“It is pretty gutting at this time of year,” he said. “I am just about to start the racing season over in Europe, so it is all pretty frustrating. It is an excellent machine. Racing at a high level, you really need the good equipment.
“It would be so frustrating to ruin the season and ruin my chances. If I am not good enough, I am not good enough, but if it comes down to this that would be hard to take.”
Police believe the incident happened between 12am and 6am on Sunday morning. Garage doors at the property were forced open, and the racing cycle was stolen from inside. The bike is described as having a red, black and white frame with an SRM PowerMeter attached to the pedals and an 18 carat gold-plated chain. The frame size is 56cm and it is equipped with 3T handle bars, which are 40cm in width.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Detective Constable Simon Cooper at Thetford CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
It is not the first setback the 21-year-old former Diss High student has had to contend with. In early 2010, Mr Fitzpatrick suffered from a rare balance disorder which rendered him housebound for six months. He said watching the Tour de France made him realise how much he missed the sport - and set his sights on one day doing it for a living.
“I am so close to achieving my dream in the next couple of years, so it would be such a shame if this ruined years of hard work,” he added.