Bike Bettini used to win world cycling championship stolen in Italy


MILAN -- Thieves have stolen the bike used
by Paolo Bettini to retain his world title in Stuttgart last

A vehicle belonging to the Quickstep team was robbed late on
Friday in the northern Italian town of Reggio Emilia with 21
bikes worth a total of $212,500 taken.

"It was the bike from the world championships, I wanted to
keep it," Bettini told reporters.

Bettini, who is considering retirement at the end of the
year, has said he "talked" with the bike to bond with it ahead
of his tilt at a second successive world crown last Saturday.