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Second place after bike stolen

By Chelsea Boyle

[email protected]

A competitive cyclist was left “gutted” after his bike was stolen just hours before a crucial race.

Jeff Saywell had nipped into New World in Masterton on Saturday to grab some supplies before round four of the North Island team series was set to kick off at 10am.

He was only in the store for about five minutes but returned to see that his bike had been taken, he said.

“I’ve got a couple of mates in the team who play practical jokes, and that was my initial thought, that it was for a laugh.”

But he soon realised that none of his teammates had the bike.

Jeff Saywell on the climb. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Jeff Saywell on the climb. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Mr Saywell had been training for the race for months and was riding 300-400km every week.

He had also recently completed the K2 race in Coromandel in preparation.

“I had targeted this particular race, so I was a little bit devastated.”

The day took another turn for Mr Saywell when Tararua Builders Apache Jack teammate Andrew Linton offered his own bike for the race to replace the stolen one.

“He set it up so it would fit me and even gave me his shoes,” Mr Saywell said.

“It was a big call from Andrew to give me his bike.

“The team was fantastic, I was stoked with how they all chipped in.

“I managed to come second on a borrowed bike – I was over the moon.”

The last race of the series takes place on December 4.

Mr Saywell said he would still love to have his bike returned before the last round.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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