The Zolder World Cup didn’t go exactly as planned for Danish national champion Joachim Parbo. No, it wasn’t the snow and ruts – someone walked off with one of the two Leopard bikes that he brought to the race.
Parbo was pulled from the event when the leaders were about to lap him. Afterwards, some fans were admiring his rigs, and Parbo graciously offered to let one of them test it out. That was the last time he’d see his rig, until the police were able to track it down. Read the details from Joachim himself below.
by Joachim Parbo
Getting the bike back
After the police called me with the happy news, I drove from Oost Vlaandren to pick up the Leopard ’cross bike Tuesday at Heusden-Zolder Police HQ.
I was welcomed by a policeman who proudly joked that he was “Inspector, Jack Frost” (a TV character).
The white Leopard letters on the prototype frame had been scraped off. The same happened to the stickers on the Zipp wheels. Unfortunately the Zipp rear wheel had 2 spokes ripped out from what looked like a nasty chain suck between the spokes and the cassette. The SRAM deraileur was also bent.
Otherwise the bike works and will be ready as a reserve for the Grand Prix Nuvel An in Petange, Luxembourg. Here I hope to place in the top 10. After that I return to Denmark to prepare for the national championships and for the World Championships in St. Wendel.
Leopard Cycles had 3 JPX cyclocross 1200g prototype frames produced for me. All had matte black carbon, but each were different – one frame with gold letters, one with white and one with red – all 3 together to signify the Danish Championship. It was the bike with the white letters that was stolen.
The massive news coverage and a tip led the police to effectively track down the thief. It seems that stealing a bike from a national champion in this cycling loving country is not considered a small crime.
However, it is not the first time that I have had a special cycling experience with the Belgian police. In 2006 I was stopped in my mysterious, foreign Danish car in the middle of the night by policemen in a civilian car. With hands on guns they walked up on both sides of my car ready to draw … One of them asked me for my papers and what business I had. I gave him my passport and my autograph card. He looked at me and said: “Oh, yeah we know you! We saw you last week on TV. When is your next race ?”
I think Belgium is the only country where these things can happen.
My next race in Belgium will be in Oostmalle in late February, but I actually hope to have a race in Belgium before that.
No More Mr. Nice Guy?
In the future I think the procedure when lending out my bike will be to take peoples wallets first. People should still be able to try what a real bike feels like!