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Romsey mountain biker fears for his career after thefts
A CHAMPION mountain biker fears his career could be ruined after thieves took £14,000 worth of his equipment.
Grant Fielder has lost the two new bikes he had been working on to ride in competitions this year.
Now he is faced with using his old bikes, which do not have the latest features and he believes it could affect his chances.
“I’m just absolutely gutted. It’s like a kid’s just got its teddy taken away from them,” he told the Daily Echo.
“Nothing can replace it. It’s ruined my career for the next few months.”
The 29-year-old, of Romsey, had been away for the weekend to compete at the X Fest at Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire, which was then cancelled due to the weather.
He came home to find his garage had been broken into and much of its contents taken.
This includes two top spec Kona mountain bikes, each worth £4,500 that he has built himself over the past three months buying parts from as far away as Canada.
These were taken along with a red Honda CRF 50F mini motorbike worth £1,200 and dozens of bike components. The theft happened between 11pm on Sunday and the early hours of yesterday.
Mr Fielder, who was crowned free ride mountain bike world champion in 2004, said it had been a week of highs and lows having celebrated his birthday and been to the first three month scan of his first child.
He said his garage was not the only one broken into, but his was the only one where items were taken.
Mr Fielder was due to have pictures taken of his new bikes for a magazine and had only ridden them up and down the street to test the gears.
“The new bikes get developed and they get better every year, it’s like going back again,” said Mr Fielder.
“It could affect my career something like that. The latest bikes, that’s what I need to ride to win.”
The mountain bikes are described as light grey with black graphics, one is a Kona Entourage, the other a Kona Operation.
Police are investigating. Anyone with information should contact them on 101.