Oct 10 (Reuters) - The Tour de France trophy won by Team Sky's Geraint Thomas earlier this year has been stolen during a cycle show in Birmingham, the British team said on Wednesday.
The trophy, loaned to bike manufacturer Pinarello, had been on display at venues across the UK along with the team's other grand tour titles but was picked up when left unattended at the NEC in Birmingham recently.
"It is incredibly unfortunate that this has happened," Thomas said in a statement. "It goes without saying that the trophy is of pretty limited value to whoever took it, but means a lot to me and to the team.
"Hopefully whoever took it will have the good grace to return it. A trophy is important, but clearly what matters most are the amazing memories from this incredible summer – and no one can ever take those away." Pinarello managing director Richard Hemington said he was devastated by the theft.
"We accept full responsibility and have personally apologized to Geraint," Hemington said. "We hope that the trophy can be recovered."
See more from this year's race:
Team Sky said police were investigating the matter and they were liaising with all relevant parties to agree on the best course of action to resolve the issue.
Thomas won the team's sixth Tour de France title in seven years in July.
It was the fourth successive grand tour win for the team after Chris Froome won the Tour and the Vuelta a Espana last year before clinching this year's Giro d'Italia. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru)